the Australian Math Coach asked me last Saturday. Then of course I go into my explanation. No, I wasn’t born in Haiti. Yes, I was born in America. Technically I’m Haitian-American but when people ask where I’m from (for some reason I get asked a lot) I ALWAYS say I’m Haitian. It’s not that I don’t want to be American. Matter of fact, I feel privileged to be American. At heart though, I am Haitian. I love the language, people, culture, food…everything! I love when I speak to other Haitians, how I can break out to say something that just sound better if I said it in Kreyol (the haitian dialect/language). I just love Haiti!! Yes, some people may wonder what is there to love about Haiti. Don’t think all of Haiti is like what you see in the media. Oh no! Haiti is heavenly!!
To understand my love for Haiti you have to understand from whence I arrived in my patriotism. You see, when I was younger a part of me was ashamed to be Haitian. I didn’t want any of my family members to speak to me in Kreyol in public. If they did, I would respond in English. It wasn’t popular to be Haitian when I was growing up. As matter of fact we got harassed and bullied. Don’t get me wrong if someone asked I was honest (unlike some other friends) but I never volunteered the information. That is, until I went to high school. I don’t know what changed or shifted for me but all of a sudden I was shouting it from the rooftops. I constantly hear the dreaded phrase that I hate to this day, “Really? You don’t look Haitian!” What that means I have no clue. Haitians come in all shades. Whatever the SHADE, Haitian women got it going on! Not only that, we have such a RICH history! The first black nation to gain its independence…hello!! When we had our independence America still had slavery (more on that on Haitian Flag Day). We have so much to be proud of. Although we are so far behind the rest of the world in many things, we were ahead in something monumental worldwide.
As I grew older and more mature, my pride for Haiti grew. It continues to grow. The needless shame is gone. So when people ask me where I’m from, I will continue to say that I am Haitian. My mother is Haitian and my father was Haitian. Although I had the privilege and honor of being born on American soil, Haitian blood runs through my veins! More so, I am completely dedicated to serving my people!