I come from Miami, where being black and being Haitian are almost one and the same,
Where 205 years of freedom equated to 205 years of shame.
That fine line that mixed not too long ago, Became a thick bar of hate that caused unrest to our soul.
I have older friends who pretended to be Bahamian or Jamaican;
Because you were done in those days if people found out you were Haitian.
Your whole world would crumble before your very eyes.
Your “best friend” could only look at you with a glare of despise.
Of all of the immigrants at the time,
Haitians were constantly being coerced.
Looked down upon by surely everyone.
But believe it or not, blacks and Hispanics treated us the worst.
That hate and violence was strongest around ‘92,
But the racism continues on despite what we do.
Haitians have become productive members of our society,
But many still say, “I’d never date one or have one work for me.”
Everyone has heard of Wyclef Jean, like that’s the only Haitian to know;
But look up Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, or Andre Berto.
They were some of our heroes that the world ought to acknowledge
We’re taught about many Black leaders, but I haven’t learned about one Haitian yet in college.
People think all in all Haiti will always be a country that’s poor and worthless
But, get to know us – we are a people that aspire to be the best of the best.
It’s time that Haitians rise up and make respect their priority
Because I’m sick of my people being treated like a minority’s minority.
–David L. Doirin, 18, North Miami