What You Should Know About Haiti’s Independence Day

Labadie, Haiti
Photo creds @ishootcanonx

Would it come to you as a surprise if I told you there’s a country that celebrates their Independence Day on January 1st? It’s no surprise that on the first day of the year, everyone is celebrating. But this country is celebrating a real victory, one that occurred in 1804. I’m talking about Haiti – island in the center of the Caribbean sea, known as the “Pearl of the Caribbean.”

“Pearl of the Caribbean”

In the 1800s, if you aren’t aware wasn’t a good time for anyone that was not European. The French and Spanish had colonized their section of Hispanola (The name for the entire island Haiti and the Dominican Republic combined) and begun their division process. What they weren’t aware of is that the people of Haiti were coming together to form their union to revolt their opposed ruler. After years of careful planning, the time has arrived for the people of Haiti to take their independence. They were going against one of the strongest armies of its time. A small, enslaved island defeated them. The first black republic to gain their independence in 1804 that was the most significant domino effect of the world.

Labadie, Haiti
Photo Creds @ishootcanonx

America was able to acquire all of the West coasts because the French who owned the Louisana Territory couldn’t afford to go into war with the Americans so they gave it for a hefty price tag. No Latin country today would’ve been able to gain independence at the time if it wasn’t for the assistance of Haiti to Simon Bolivar in 1816.
So why is this news to many people in the world today? It’s a new decade and still many people haven’t heard of Haiti, their efforts or celebration. What they did in Haiti is a moment for every person to listen to and remember. New Years Day is not just a celebration for a day in a new year but the bravery and strength of the people of Haiti for fighting for their rights!

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Melissa Philippe, or Mel, is the founder and creator of Da Modern Mama. An organisation built around the advocacy and support for POC maternal health. After being an English educator for 8+ years, Mel decided to devote her time to being a speaker and advocate for women of colour. With degrees in English, Writing and literature while being a doula and certified Montessori educator and an Adult and Child Psychologist focused on development and neuroscience. It's allowed her to learn from both sides of the fence and use the same practices in our family. Melissa is also a multi-award-winning author, writer, educator, parent coach, and keynote speaker. - Melissa Philippe (Laura Valentine)

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