This introductory chapter argues that both Haitian and African American leaders actively promoted Haiti as a quintessentially black nation. Haitian leaders did so by codifying the concept in the nation's constitution and also by other words and deeds. At independence, Haiti identified itself by color, declaring in Article 14 of its constitution, “Haitians henceforth will be known by the generic name of blacks.” All inhabitants, regardless of skin color, would be considered “black,” suggesting an open and inclusive black identity. The constitution also outlawed all white landownership, indicating a color consciousness and a desire to keep whites from the island. Around the same time, members of the African American community began looking to the Caribbean island and embracing color as an identifier. This choice, just as in Haiti, was a strategy to unify against white oppression and racism.
NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.