I Don't Know this America...But I'm Most
Happy to Meet It

by Marguerite "Ezili Dantò" Laurent,
Haitian Perspectives, November 5, 2008
Background Essay - The America I know)


Reactions Around The World

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Pointing Guns at Starving Haitians: Violent Haiti is a myth

HLLN Campaign 6:
obilize the Haitian--American vote (See, Ezili's HLLN Endorses Barack Obama ; Obama-mania is Unnerving ; and HLLN Recommended Links on "critical" support for Obama.)

"Asylum, Amnesty and Justice denied our kind" (See, "Breaking Sea Chains" )

- RBM Video Reel


Ezili Dantò performs the Yanvalou for
So Much Like Here (See text and RBM 2004 Video Reel)


Dessalines Is Rising!!
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!




Sam Cooke-It's Been A Long Time Coming...But Change Gonna Come



What Immigrants Must Learn from the Black Civil Rights Movement
HLLN Urgent Action Alert: Help the people of Gonaives, Haiti directly - Also, ask for TPS for Haitians nationals

HLLN SAMPLE LETTER Asking President Bush to Assist Haiti's Recovery Efforts by Granting Haitian Nationals TPS

Black is the Color of Liberty

Ezili Dantò performs the banda dance as a Gede for Breaking Sea Chain (See also Intro to Breaking Sea Chains and PhotoGallery)


To subscribe, write to erzilidanto@yahoo.com
zilibuttonCarnegie Hall
Video Clip
No other national
group in the world
sends more money
than Haitians living
in the Diaspora
Red Sea- audio

The Red Sea

Ezili Dantò's master Haitian dance class (Video clip)

zilibuttonEzili's Dantò's
Haitian & West African Dance Troop
Clip one - Clip two

So Much Like Here- Jazzoetry CD audio clip

Ezili Danto's

to Self

Update on
Site Soley

RBM Video Reel

Angry with
Boat sinking
A group of Haitian migrants arrive in a bus after being repatriated from the nearby Turks and Caicos Islands, in Cap-Haitien, northern Haiti, Thursday, May 10, 2007. They were part of the survivors of a sailing vessel crowded with Haitian migrants that overturned Friday, May 4 in moonlit waters a half-mile from shore in shark-infested waters. Haitian migrants claim a Turks and Caicos naval vessel rammed their crowded sailboat twice before it capsized. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Dessalines' Law
and Ideals

Breaking Sea Chains

Little Girl
in the Yellow
Sunday Dress

Anba Dlo, Nan Ginen
Ezili Danto's Art-With-The-Ancestors Workshops - See, Red, Black & Moonlight series or Haitian-West African

Clip one -Clip two
ance performance
zilibutton In a series of articles written for the October 17, 2006 bicentennial commemoration of the life and works of Dessalines, I wrote for HLLN that: "Haiti's liberator and founding father, General Jean Jacques Dessalines, said, "I Want the Assets of the Country to be Equitably Divided" and for that he was assassinated by the Mullato sons of France. That was the first coup d'etat, the Haitian holocaust - organized exclusion of the masses, misery, poverty and the impunity of the economic elite - continues (with Feb. 29, 2004 marking the 33rd coup d'etat). Haiti's peoples continue to resist the return of despots, tyrants and enslavers who wage war on the poor majority and Black, contain-them-in poverty through neocolonialism' debts, "free trade" and foreign "investments." These neocolonial tyrants refuse to allow an equitable division of wealth, excluding the majority in Haiti from sharing in the country's wealth and assets." (See also, Kanga Mundele: Our mission to live free or die trying, Another Haitian Independence Day under occupation; The Legacy of Impunity of One Sector-Who killed Dessalines?; The Legacy of Impunity:The Neoconlonialist inciting political instability is the problem. Haiti is underdeveloped in crime, corruption, violence, compared to other nations, all, by Marguerite 'Ezili Dantò' Laurent
No other national group in the world sends more money than Haitians living in the Diaspora



Jean Jacques Dessalines


Two American moments, which one will we extend and sustain?

"I know the America on the left. I am so glad to meet the America on the right. I will never forget the historic victory of November 4, 2008." Ezili Dantò

I Don't Know this America....But I'm most happy to meet it by Ezili Dantò, Nov. 5, 2008, Haitian Perspectives

I grew up with the picture on the left. That's the America that lynched Black soldiers in their uniforms after World War II. It's the America I was taught. It's the America unfortunately I've lived through. It's the America that killed the Dreamer.

Yes, I grew up with the picture on the left. I know that America. But yesterday, on November 4, 2008, I was most happy to actually meet the America that chose to make the picture on the right its new dawn.... Honestly, as someone raised in post-Civil Rights America, I don't know this America. I didn't think it was possible.

I am most happy to meet this America and I am most thankful for President-elect Barack Obama's unyielding audacity of hope. Most happy to have taken part in it because he envisioned what could be. I am glad to meet this America of new possibilities, this America of November 4, 2008. I want to be part of this America where I don't feel an outsider to Officialdom because I work for human rights, social justice and equality, workers rights, reciprocal trade, respect for Haitian democracy and constitutional rule. I hope that that America won't again turn away from this hope for the poor and disenfranchised all over this planet, and go back to promoting the special interests of the corporate elites, valuing profit over people.

Senator Barack Obama's victory has introduced me to the possibility of that America. That's a stunning feat. I hope all of us rise up to meet this America we all took a glimpse of on November 4th. Change would truly have come if we actually ACT to extend the November 4th values and broad, inter-generational coalition, across the races, transcending political party, class and creeds that was forged to elect Barack Obama. And extend it each and everyday of our lives.

I didn't believe it existed or could be pulled forth in my lifetime. That I've lived to see it, to know it's there and not just the ephemeral dream; that I have lived to see a Black man, this man of integrity and enormous vision and competence, this son of an African, with an aunt who is still an "illegal alien" about to call home, a White House built by the forced labor of African captives, that this America exists and was pulled forth for the world to see, makes me more thankful than I can say.

I pour libation for all the Ancestors who did not live to see that the color line has been crossed. I weep for all the American lives and Iraqi lives in Iraq and elsewhere around the world that paid the ultimate price for this day to come so simply. I pray the children in the Congo will benefit from this new day. I hope this means Haitian lives will also be more valued and a new US-Haiti partnership is on the horizon. I pray that a new dawn of American leadership is at hand and hope that President Barack Obama will work with us as we've outlined in "What Haitian Americans are Asking of the New US President."

Four years ago, part of HLLN mission, as articulated in Campaign Six was to help to elect a President that would not extend the tyranny and disenfranchisement of the Black masses that Bush Regime change brought to Haiti in February 2004. We hope to retire that campaign now and have a working relationship with this new Congress and this new President. Yes we can - Wi nou kapab.

I thank and am so deeply grateful to all those who worked to get out the vote and so blessed to meet this America I don't know but want to get to know, sustain, belong to and have a relationship with. It's been a long time coming...

Marguerite Laurent/Ezili Dantò
Founder and President, Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
November 5, 2008
(See Background Essay - The America I Know)
Forwarded by Ezili's Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network

Two American moments, which one will we extend and sustain?

Yes, we did it! OBAMA 08’!!!


Change Has Come to America - Obama's new website


Background essay:
The America I Know

Nothing that I know or have lived, especially after Bush's bloody regime change in Haiti on February 29, 2004, prepared me for the momentous election of a tolerant, compassionate, (seemingly people-over-profit) Black man - who stands for a more equitable world - to the presidency of the United States.

The US I knew had disregarded the laws, so at least I thought if Obama won, the election would be stolen or at least there would be some haggling for a week, at the minimum. I was not prepared for the unanimous acceptance of a Black man as president of the United States by 11pm on election night. The America I knew was all about “plausible deniability,” had a shameful legacy of racism, had carried on a pre-emptive war, lied to the American people about weapons of mass destruction, lied to the American people about what they are doing in Haiti, passed the Patriot Act, tortures prisoners at Guantanamo, discriminates against Haitian immigrants...

I don’t know the November 4, 2008 America…But I'd like to make it real and have a relationship with it.

The US I know:
Flaunt their love of justice and liberty and then support Taliban-type regimes and when that goes awry, bomb the heck out of Afghanistan.

The America I know:
Sponsor elections throughout “the developing” world, and then outfit their own private armies, to “restore order” and reverse said elections whenever the US-sponsored candidate fails to be elected by the populist. Mobutu, Duvalier, the Gerald Latortue Boca Raton Regime, who maintained these?

The America I know:

Armed and trained thugs and convicted felons, Louis Jodel Chamblain and Guy Philippe in the Dominican Republic to invade Haiti on Feb. 2004 in order to end Haiti’s Constitutional democracy and when these surrogates could not complete the task...

The America I know:
Sent in US Special forces, with the assistance of French and Canadian soldiers, to kidnap the Constitutionally elected President of Haiti and exiled him to the Central African Republic in order to dominate Haiti, secure the Haitian market for US goods and take by US-sponsored force, once again, Haitian resources – state-owned companies, Haiti’s gold, oil, gas reserves, coltan, et al... and all they couldn't persuade Haitian President Aristide or the Haitian people, to give away.

The America I know:
Was built on the genocide of the Amerindians, the enslavement of Africans, and then the blood of centuries of lynching with impunity, the razing to the very ground of Black cities like Rosewood and the “Black Wall Street” in Oklahoma, the colonization of Haiti for 19 years as well as the neocolonization of Dominican Republic, Latin America…; built on gunboat diplomacy and US marines bringing (their sort of) “order” to “backwards” Black and Brown countries all over the world.

The America I know:
Legalized murders and mayhems under Jim Crow for 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation; then after the Civil Rights Movement, denied equal rights to Blacks-Americans through racial profiling, mandatory sentencing, the criminalization of poverty and drug addiction otherwise known as the “war against drugs,” or more aptly, the war against young Black males.”

The America I know:
Trained death squad soldiers and sent them forth, from Fort Benning, Georgia, unto the Haitian people, onto the people of Latin America....

The America I know:
Employed Toto Constant, Haiti's strongman who was the head of the FRAPH death squad that murdered more than 3,000 Haitians from 1991- to 94 and then gave this terrorist asylum in New York while denying fleeing innocent Haitian refugees even a hearing of their asylum claims...

The America I know:
Incarcerated and indefinitely detained Black children, women and men, whose only crime is that they are poor and from Haiti, at Guantanamo Bay, before they started using it as a place to indefinitely incarcerate and torture Al Qaeda, and other "enemy combatants".

The America I know:
Has an overwhelming, disproportionately high African American male population (more than 50% of total US prisoners) in jail when we only make up 13% of the population. More than half of death row prisoners in the US are Black males.

That's the America I know. That's the America I thought would never make a righteous Black man with the democratic and social justice values of Barack Obama its President.

I know the America of the dream that all men are created equal. I was raised in the post-Civil Rights era of the dream, again, deferred for the masses. I was raised in the post-Civil Rights era where America was starting to look like Haiti, with Katrina lifting up for the world to see the huddled and excluded Black US masses left behind and Ophra, Michael Jordan and PDitty representing the few who had successfully made it in an America where overt institutional racism was replaced by the more insidious covert institutional racism and its denial...

"Race doesn’t matter" the Neocon chorus went, and most vociferously by the right wing neo-conservative blacks who were universally celebrated as the “good Black” the "objective" and "not angry" Blacks. Like in Haiti, these Black middlemen told white America what their rich white benefactors wanted them too say and what white Neocon-rule America wanted to hear. Who are some of these black "conservatives?" Well, African American folks like Shelby Steele, Ward Connelly, Armstrong Williams, Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, et al...

That's the America I know.

Is the nightmare is over?

President Barack Obama was born of an African father, a white mother from America, spent his childhood in Asia - America/Africa/Asia - will this internationalist bring US change that will help bring relief to the disenfranchised of the world - to the children in Haiti, Baghdad, Congo, Beirut, Gaza, and all the other places in the crosshairs of the American empire's superpower guns?

There is work to be done, and it's up to all of us, not just President Barack Obama.
In his victory speech, President-elect Barack Obama, had the vision to place the responsibility for the welfare of the nation in our own hands, us the citizens, where, in a democracy, it truly must rest. We know the odds, but Obama’s victory has taught us not to be led by fear or doubt but faith and hope. He’s taught us that anything is possible. Yes we can - Wi nou kapab.

Marguerite Laurent/Ezili Dantò
Founder and President, Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
November 5, 2008

Forwarded by Ezili's Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
Video - The Obama Song (World of Friends): Bridges for Obama

Standing on truth, living without fear – Supporting Barack Obama’s vision of what can be…




Reaction Around the World
To the election of the First Black US President - Barack Obama!!!

At Obama's former school in Jakarta, Indonesia

Video - The Obama Song (World of Friends): Bridges for Obama

Barack's step-grandmother Sarah Obama in Kogelo, Kenya


Manila, Philippines




Athens, Greece


Jerusalem, Israel


Sydney, Australia


Obama, Japan





Paris, France


Dakar, Senegal












Recommended HLLN Link:
I Don't Know this America...But I'm Most Happy to Meet It


Forwarded Mail:
From: David E. Talbert <>
Subject: Today I Woke Up A Black Man
Date: Friday, November 7, 2008, 6:31 AM

The Dream No Longer Deferred

Nov. 7, 2008

What's up Family!

Can you believe it?! No matter who you are or where you live this historic event has touched so many people in so many ways. For me, it was even more special because my 8 year old nephew was among the group of folks over my house to watch the results. He was so excited. We all were. But that night, after everyone finally went home...I started to think about what it meant to him. And me. I woke up Wednesday morning inspired to write something. Though I know all of you are not Black, or men...and though these words might not speak directly to you... I felt compelled to share them with you. Hopefully it will inspire you as these thoughts inspired me. If they do, feel free to forward this to every parent you know...every teacher, preacher, family or friend.

As always thanks for all your love and support. Let's continue to pray for America, for the World, and for the 44th president of the United States of America... President Barack Obama.


Today I Woke Up A Black Man
Inspired By President Barack Obama
Written By David E. Talbert, Nov. 7, 2008

Today I woke up to the reality that everything is possible
Leaving nothing to chance, luck or speculation
I have this new realization
I'm a safe bet
The cards are stacked in my favor
Not a victim of some wicked plot, scheme, or attack plan
Today I woke up A Black Man

No longer enslaved by the images that once defined me
I woke up with a light so bright it blinds me
Today I woke up A Black Man

My clothes no longer fit me
My chest pokes out a bit further
My arms reach a bit higher
Even my hat fits snug
My brain has increased its capacity
Enlarged by my own audacity
I can be more than a thug, a pimp, or the crack man
Today I woke up A Black Man

The generational curse has been broken
My journey needs only this token
This fee
That I choose to believe in me
That I set free the thoughts of pain, stress and strain
That I accept the responsibility that greatness is my probability
Today I woke up A Black Man

Not shackled by how the world sees me
What matters most is how I see me
A seed snatched from the equator
The most beautiful reflection of my creator
Fear and failure are simply a distraction
Today my future found traction
Today I woke up A Black Man

I have twenty twenty vision
Courage, hope, and honor is my daily mission
I'm no longer a gamble
Leaving nothing to chance, luck, or speculation
I have this new realization
I'm a safe bet
The cards are stacked in my favor
If you dare suggest these words aren't fact man
Today I woke up A Black Man

© 2008 David E. Talbert

David E. Talbert
email: info@davidetalbert.com
web: http://davidetalbert.com
Forwarded by Ezili's Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
www.ezilidanto.com or www.margueritelaurent.com

Recommended HLLN Link:
I Don't Know this America...But I'm Most Happy to Meet It


Dessalines Is Rising!!
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!

"When you make a choice, you mobilize vast human energies and resources which otherwise go untapped...........If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want and all that is left is a compromise." Robert Fritz

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