Haïti | Ayiti

Offering a New Perspective


Haiti inhabits the west side of the Caribbean Island Hispaniola and borders the Dominican Republic. Before the colonial age, Ayiti was inhabited by the Tianos who were known for their peaceful and environmentally conscious ways of living. Christopher Columbus's discovery of the island and her people in 1492 resulted in the death of the Tiano people by disease. 

Ayiti was captured by the Spanish and the island was eventually split with the French. The Spanish colony was Santo Domingo and the French colony was Saint Domainge. Saint Domainge became France's richest colony; nick named the "Pearl of the Antilles," Haiti produced the world's largest export of coffee and sugar. 

Following the French Revolution, Haitian slaves, led by Toussaint L'Ouverture unified as the world's first slave revolt and successfully gained independence in 1804. The Haitian Revolution defeated the world's super power armies: The French, the British and the Spanish, challenging the notions of slavery and white supremacy. Established as the first Black Republic in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has been paying a very dear price for challenging the system of opression. 

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