The Afro-Haitian Influence on New Orleans, 1809-1859
Felix Fernand Germain
Robert L. Harris, Jr.
Thesis DT 3.5 2000 G476
vii, 102 leaves; 29 cm.
On the eve of the nineteenth century, as a result of the Haitian revolution, many Afro-Haitians were displaced from their homeland. Many of them left voluntarily to settle in the United States. Others migrated to the same destination against their will. The majority of the Afro-Haitian voluntary and non-voluntary migrants settled in New Orleans. There, they influenced the cultural, artistic, political, and social development of this New American city.
However, in New Orleans Afro-Haitians were polarized politically, socially, culturally, according to their place within an established White supremacist three-tiered caste society. Some Afro- Haitians transcended and revolted against this system, while others rationalized and internalized its most "evil" characteristics, thus, helping to sustain this oppressive system for a longer period of time.
Afro-Haitians made up a distinct ethnic group within the Black community of New Orleans between 1809and 1859. Their activities during this period describe the importance of cultural continuity between a country and its Diaspora. But most importantly, it shows how they were instrumental in developing New Orleans during the first decade of the nineteenth century.