Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Arbre de la liberté: Ayiti, Haiti, and Hayti

I had a chance to go back to my roots this weekend in North Carolina. It’s always a good trip because I am always able to learn something new about my people and about the state. Did you know that there is an area near Durham, NC known as Hayti? As a matter of fact, it was the first documented use of the name Hayti; the name was found on a land deed in 1877 for a lot sold on the southeast end of the city to a group of African American citizens.


I’m sure you recognize the resemblance in spelling to the Independent Island nation of Haiti or Ayiti (Land of Mountains).



The origin of this obvious dedication and admiration to the Island nation of Haiti is unknown, but it should be noted that US map makers as early as 1867 referred to all black settlements as Hayti. Some historians also feel that the newly freed Africans in America felt a kinship with the people of Haiti in their continued fight for freedom and independence.


Definition: arbre de la liberté (Liberty tree)
Information Source: soulofamerica.com

Map Sources: www.ah.dcr.state.nc.u and remax-caribbeanislands.com

15 comments:

CapCity said...

Thanx for that education, Brother Stephen. History constantly fascinates me as an adult - makes me wonder how/why instructors bored me with it so DEEPLY all through school - OH, cuz they never made any references to people who looked like shades of me (except to remind us how beat down we were;-). Would definitely be a bonus to meetcha if u can stop thru on April 7th! Always seeking Blogger photo ops;-). LOL!

Stephen Bess said...

Capcity-
Happy you can appreciate the history. I love it. Photo ops? Cool. I'll wear my 3 piece suit. :)

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

Man sounds great, i bet u ate good

Changeseeker said...

Interesting! I had no idea. I love to learn new stuff.

NML said...

I love the way people from North Carolina speak! That aside, thanks for an education. I know I've said it before but you are my source for black history! Keep it coming! Btw, I have put new photos of the bambino on Facebook x

Guyana-Gyal said...

You should see Haitian art! Wonderful!

Stephen Bess said...

NML-
I'm glad that you still enjoy it. Enjoy your weekend and kiss the Bambino for me.

GG-
My father has some Haitian art. I love it.

Rethabile said...

Rea leboha.

Fabrizio said...

You always teach me something new

Fab

Stephen Bess said...

Rethabile-
Ke a leboha, ntate

Fab-
I'm glad that you can receive something from here, brother Fabrizio. How are things on your end?

©hoklateRain said...

I wonder where my roots will lead me? Interesting facts glad you were able to learn more about your family roots and enjoy the trip as well.

...passing through waving at you :)

Xavier Pierre Jr. said...

You never cease to amaze me.

Peace and Love,

Alizé (LoversA.blogspot.com)

PS: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). I am PASSIONATE about this issue and I’m determined to do my part to help educate as many people as possible. Please join me in spreading the word. Sexual violence must stop!

Stephen Bess said...

©hoklateRain-
*Waving back* Yes, researching my heritage is a life hobby.

Xavier-
You have my support brother. Thanks and good to see you.

Lyrically speaking said...

Mr. Bess, love the attached poem and the sweet dedication to Haiti

Rent Party said...

There were also a lot of actual Haitians who came to the U.S. after the revolution there - including slaves who later got free. It's why Louisiana Creole sounds so much like Haitian Creole, and one of the (many) reasons why New Orleans is so Caribbean-like. I heard over the weekend that the population doubled
with the arrival of the Haitians!!!

OT for this post: great idea with the poetry posts for April.