"Three open doors wait for us to enter for making a truly progressive and just New World in the 21st century: all of Haiti as a World Heritage Site that's not for sale in a Western Hemisphere with one passport and one minimum wage. Why not?"-- Ezili Danto, human rights lawyer
The Metamorphosis: How I Reached One and One to Make Three
(Entire article is found here.)
....I first made the U-turn to Haiti in 1994.
I went as a young lawyer without a clue. Writing later about how it felt, I said in the Red Sea, I didn't know:
""the ways I can be co-opted by working with those more schooled in the patterns of privilege and domination than I could ever be. I didn't measure-up to ambitions I haul around with me every day but can't articulate. To visions I have but can only really see in hindsight. To whatever function I'm here for."
The first democratically elected Haiti president hired me as his legal advisor but the US ambassador to Haiti effectively fired me. And during that long-ago U-turn, I couldn't fit the image I have of my gran-grans' Danto-Ogou with the Haiti I crashed into.
Cut to 20 years later.
It's Autumn 2015.
I am preparing for a presentation of the Red, Black and Moonlight Vodun Jazzoetry series I wrote about the journey of a Vodun woman in Haiti. Relearning my lines to perform School's Out, Autumnal Equinox, Breaking Sea Chains, Capsized, the Red Sea and other Ezili pieces for a scheduled performance.
I am reliving that raw written life in the distance. That young human rights lawyer is now the grown-ass Black woman, decades later. The first ten years beginning this journey is recorded in the Red, Black & Moonlight series and mostly all the last twenty years as the head of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network is somewhere online. The overlapping ten years, since 2004, I helped lead the Free Haiti Movement"I am the red sea. At the end of Between Falling and Hitting the Ground, onstage in 2001, I prayed and plaintively asked the Ancestors: "Do I get time and talent too" Time to participate in creating a different history"DO I GET TIME?"
Twenty-years. Never froze. Graced and rented apart with time, in time, out of time, a scattered seed. I looked everywhere for solid ground in those years.Breaking sea chains, I alternated between suffering and expanding. But I also never got any smarter than "wanting to set them to the fires they lay my Black babies in, eternally." I still hit my head against Satan's Iron Will so other little Haitian girls won't have to. Blessedly, no matter how deep the sorrow, I always know I'm original Woman Black -- the divine Red Sea protected in Black to give form. (It's Desalin season right now at the Free Haiti Movement just to give you a glimpse -- poukisa Ogou lan tet mwen kounyela.)
Looking back, I see Danto and Ogou
were always there even through the terrifying 2004 bicentennial Bush
regime change in Haiti, the 2010 earthquake, UN-imported cholera and the
pedophilia cases we took against Christian white men molesting homeless
Black Haiti boys to make them eunuchs like the ol' Arab enslavers. I
once stood in a New Haven courtroom. Took back the Haitian charitable icon, the venerable Pierre Toussaint. Erased bloody betrayals
done by Society's white saints. That was the highlight before the
overprocessed White-"light" blindsided us, pouring from past to present,
giving underhanded access to cut us out. Pilfered the civil cases to
make the millions we needed. But we carried cholera. Used sun-gazing to
survive treacherous vampires' teeth and claws. The convulsions to began
the unheard-off cholera case wrapped in a Haiti-led narrative indicting
the respondeat superior. Wrote to the brain-dead 'bout hidden
fracking mines on quake fault lines and plans for the old Caracol North.
Freestyled and reformatted seismic shifts to kill Tarzan, Jane and their Uncle Toms. Sent four Black mothers
to India even when cavemen muscles rushed forward to callously amputate
Zili Dlo. Mere detours. Because Manbo Zili, Manbo Inan and Ogou Feray
were always there. Petwo. Kongo. Nago. Rada. Eternal seeds know each other. Gran's grace grants this early Autumn 2015 day, for planting outloud, three new seeds for a better New World for all.
"Haiti as a World Heritage Site that's not for sale in a Western Hemisphere with one passport and one minimum wage."-- Ezili Danto, human rights lawyer
US imperialism/white supremacy is built on a faulty foundation -- a hootin' jig of fear and favor.