Haiti may be over 5,000 miles away from Africa, but there are cultural, historical, and economic ties that make it more a part of Africa than the Americas, says guest blogger Ovetta Sampson.
….Haiti links its history to Africa
Haiti is famous throughout the Africa Diaspora – the loosely, but close knit spectrum of nations with significant populations of slave descendents – for its revolt against slaveholders. Haiti became the first free black republic in 1804, when a group of slaves overtook the French to earn the nation’s freedom. That act alone made the small island nation special to Africans all over the world, but there are other ties as well. These include language, food, music and art.
Many of the 54 countries involved in the AU view Haiti as an African country, albeit just a little further away than most. The recent earthquake tragedy showed just how connected the African continent feels to the island: Senegal offered Haitians “free land,” after the earthquake, and at the AU summit in 2010, Chairman Jean Ping invited Haitians to repatriate to Africa.
“What happened to Haiti is a tragedy that transcends borders,” Ping said. “We have attachment and links to that country. The first black republic … that carried high the flame of liberation and freedom for the black people and has paid a heavy price for so doing.”