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Caribbean CrossingAfrican Americans and the Haitian Emigration Movement$
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Sara Fanning

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780814764930

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814764930.001.0001

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Migration to Haiti in the Context of Other Contemporary Migrations

Migration to Haiti in the Context of Other Contemporary Migrations

(p.17) 1 Migration to Haiti in the Context of Other Contemporary Migrations
Caribbean Crossing

Sara Fanning

NYU Press

This chapter examines the migration to Haiti in the context of other contemporary migrations. Although organizations and sponsors called the migrants from the U.S. to Haiti “emigrants,” in some senses they were colonists and in other senses exiles. The African American migrants differed from most European colonists in that they were attracted to their destination by its independence from their home nation. But they were not forced to leave; leaving was an act of conscience. To a greater extent than any Europeans since the Puritan “Pilgrims,” they sought refuge from exclusion in the home nation in the actively sympathetic philosophy of the new nation. Even as they retained American customs, the free blacks embraced Haiti's constitution, tacitly rejecting that of the United States. Ultimately, the African American emigrants were political pilgrims, and this is what distinguishes their experience from that of contemporary migrants and colonial adventurers.

Keywords:   Haitian migration, contemporary migrations, African American migrants, European colonists, free blacks, African American emigrants, political pilgrims, contemporary migrants, colonial adventurers

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