America’s famous Haitian-Americans! Yes, really!

While I was at the supermarket today, I overheard a couple engaged in a debate whether rapper Wyclef Jean was Haitian. I wanted to tell them that ‘yes, he is Haitian, and guess who else is!’ — but I realized that it would probably take 30 minutes and they would think that I was nuts so I just bought my organic milk and kept moving.

Just in case anybody else asks, here is a small list:

Notable Historical Figures

John James Audubon, naturist
W. E. B. Du Bois, civil rights activist[citation needed]
Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, founder of the City of Chicago
Pierre Toussaint, Beatified candidate for sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church


Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo America
Ralph Gilles, Automobile designer (Chrysler 300)
Dumarsais Simeus, owner of Simeus Foods


Garcelle Beauvais, model/actress
Bigga Haitian, reggae musician
Black Dada, rapper
Jason Derulo, rapper/singer
Alex Désert, actor
Gary Dourdan, actor/singer
Jamie Hector, actor
Wyclef Jean, rapper/musician/producer, member of The Fugees
Jimmy Jean-Louis, actor
David Jude Jolicoeur, rapper from De La Soul
Kangol Kid, rapper UTFO
Maxwell, singer (Haitian mother)
Trina McGee-Davis, actress
MC Tee, rapper/cofounder of Mantronix
Pastor Troy, rapper
Pras, rapper/actor, founded The Fugees


Linda Marc, public health researcher


Josmer Altidore, soccer player, Hull City FC
D’Anthony Batiste, professional American football player
Andre Berto, professional boxer
Gosder Cherilus, Detroit Lions offensive tackle
Antonio Cromartie, professionalfootball player for the San Diego Chargers
Quincy Douby, NBA basketball player[
Mario Elie, Former Houston Rockets guard
Pierre Garçon, Indianapolis Colts, Wide receiver
Max Jean-Gilles, Philadelphia Eagles offensive guard
Rashad Jeanty, professional American football player
Davin Joseph, professional American football player
William Joseph, New York Giants defensive tackle
Jerrod Laventure, soccer player, forward (striker) for Red Bull New York
Vernand Morency, professional American football player
Steve Octavien, professional American football player
Olden Polynice, Former Utah Jazz NBA player
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, professionalfootball player for the Arizona Cardinal
Jonathan Vilma, New Orleans Saints

Political figures

Ronald Brise, Florida House of Representative, District 108
Josaphat Celestin, mayor of North Miami, Florida from 2001- 2005
Alix Desulme, City Clerk for North Miami, Florida
Philippe Derose, North Miami Beach councilman
Mathieu Eugene, New York City councilman
Linda Dorcena Forry, Massachusetts State Representative
Patrick Gaspard, Director of the White House Office of Political Affairs (2009-Present)
Jean L. Jeudy, New Hampshire State Representative
Pierre-Richard Prosper, ambassador
Kwame Raoul, Illinois State Senator
Yolly Roberson, Florida State Representative, District 104
Marie St. Fleur, Massachusetts State Representative


Edwidge Danticat, renowned author

Other personalities

Lylah M. Alphonse, news editor
Jean-Michel Basquiat, artist
Patrick Dorismond, notable police abuse victim
Kendall Francois, notorious serial killer
Abner Louima, notable police abuse victim
Marjorie Vincent, Miss America 1991

For further info click: Here


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The Presidential and Vice-Presidential Response to Haiti

I was heartened to hear America’s highest in command pledge the government’s unwaivering support for the people of Haiti.

Standing alongside two former presidents, President Barack Obama today promised that U.S. support for Haitian relief would continue long after the scenes of death and destruction fade from the headlines.

“In these difficult hours, America stands united,” Obama said. “We stand united with the people of Haiti, who have shown such an incredible resilience, and we will help them to recover and to rebuild.”

“But what these gentlemen are going to be able to do is when the news media starts seeing its attention drift to other things but there’s still enormous needs on the ground, these two gentlemen of extraordinary stature, I think, are going to be able to help ensure that these efforts are sustained,” Obama said of Bush and Bill Clinton.

Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Florida’s Homestead Air Reserve Base today to inspect the relief efforts for Haiti. Biden said:

“We’re in for the long haul. The Haitian people are our friends, they’re our partners, they’re our neighbors. We’re not going to abandon them in their time of need,”

Hillary Clinton arrived today on a Coast Guard C-130 transport plane carrying bottled water, packaged food, soap and other supplies. She was to depart on another plane carrying about 50 U.S. citizens to Jamaica before her return to Washington.

In Haiti, Clinton met with President Rene Preval and got an update on relief efforts. She was accompanied by Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, who is acting as the top U.S. relief coordinator. She told President Preval:

“We are here at the invitation of your government to help you,”

“As President Obama has said, we will be here today, tomorrow and for the time ahead. And speaking personally, I know of the great resilience and strength of the Haitian people. You have been severely tested. But I believe that Haiti can come back even stronger and better in the future.”

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FBI and Charity Navigator tips how to best choose a charity for Haiti cause

The FBI and the online charity watchdog, Charity Navigator, have issued the following guidelines when deciding which charity for Hati to support:

•    Carefully review appeals before giving. Listen closely to the name of the group and beware of copycat names that sound like reputable charities.

•    Know the charity before you donate. Review the charity’s Web site and written material to assure the program is one you want to support. Check the organization’s financial filings to see how it spends its assets. Visit to see how many cents on the dollar the charity uses for its programs. If it is less than 75 cents on every dollar going to the program then it is best to give elsewhere. Look for 4 stars on the Efficiency rating to be sure.

•    Avoid newly-formed groups and give to an established charity that has worked in Haiti. Several Web sites with “Haiti” in their names were registered immediately after the disaster and claim to be raising money, but have no records or financial information. Avoid such sites.

•    Make sure the charity is registered in the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts. Registration does not guarantee that a charity is effective, but it is an important indicator. A searchable database is available at

•    Do not donate through e-mail solicitations or click on attachments, even if they claim to contain pictures from Haiti. Clicking on an e-mail may lead you to a Web site that looks authentic, but is established by identity thieves seeking to obtain money or personal information.

•    Be leery of anyone who contacts you claiming to be a victim. Unless you personally know a person in Haiti, anyone alleging to be in this position is probably part of a scam.

•    Do not give large amounts of cash.

•    Write checks to the charitable organization, not a solicitor or any individual.

•    Do not be pressured into giving. Even in times of emergency, reputable organizations do not expect you to contribute immediately if you are unfamiliar with their services.

•    Be wary of appeals that are long on emotion, but short on details about how the charity will help disaster victims.

•    If you are contacted by a solicitor, ask what percentage of your donations will be used for charitable activities that help victims and how much will be used to pay for administrative and fund-raising costs. State law requires solicitors to provide such information if requested by donors. Be wary of fund-raisers who balk at answering.

•    Do not send supplies. It is not practical in this situation. Instead of sending your own clothing, have a garage sale and turn your used goods into cash that you donate to a charity.

FULL STORY HERE: Huffington PostAdditional article detailing FBI Warning

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The Bronx coming out for Haiti!

 It was great to see Bronxites entering the fray to Help Haiti by donating their food, clothing and anything else they could. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. said today:

One giant container has already been filled and is going down to Haiti as a reserve for when the people need food and clothing. A second container is being filled now and will be sent down soon.

SOURCE: 1010 WINS Radio Interview

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CBS News: Video of Relief Effort in Haiti

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Putting your money where your blog is – literally!

The blog Beyond Ramen is putting ‘her money where her blog is’ for the people of Haiti:

I don’t have the kind of traffic that will make a Beyond Ramen “comment for a donation” program much of a fundraiser, but what the heck: for each comment on this post between now and the end of the month I’ll donate $1 to Médecins Sans Frontières, UNICEF, or the Red Cross, as you wish.

Beyond Ramen went on to point readers to the host of other culinary blogs that are lining up to help the people of Haiti:

Here’s some of what the food blogosphere is doing to help those affected by the quake in Haiti, as well as some links if you’d like to make additional donations.

The Pioneer Woman has a twofer going on: not only is she sponsoring a giveaway of two $500 donations to Haiti-related charities, she’s also donating 10 cents for every entry in the giveaway.

Alice at Savory Sweet Life is donating $1 for every comment left on the linked post, up to $1000, through Sunday evening.

Saffron & Blueberry‘s Hilda is donating $10 for every comment on her blog (any post) through January 31.

Thursday Night Smackdown is donating a dollar for every comment left on the linked post through noon EST on Saturday (tomorrow).

Kay at the Keyboard is donating 50 cents for every comment left on the linked post, plus a matching bonus if you’ve already donated independently.

Amy Leavitt is doing a giveaway similar to Pioneer Woman’s; see her page for details.

See the following link for details (good work guys!!):Beyond Ramen Haiti Relief Effort

Additional creative culinary blog fundraisers include:

The Cooking Ninja “Comment To Help Raise Funds
What’s Gaby Cooking “Help For Haiti
Feeding The Saints “Open Hands: Helping Haiti”

Additional ‘bloggers for Haiti’:

*Cafebebe – UK Blog

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The Children of Haiti: Lives on the edge

If the situation was dire for the children of Haiti before Tuesday, the situation has grown exponentially grave in the wake of the earthquake.

The country has the highest mortality rate for children younger than 5 in the Western Hemisphere, as well as a high death rate among infants and women giving birth. Just slightly over half of school-age children are actually enrolled in school.

For more than a quarter of a million young Haitians, slavery is not a vestige of the past, but rather a daily reality. These typically young Haitian girls belong to the class of the “restavek” (from the French reste avec, “one who stays with”). They are undocumented, unpaid, unprotected, live-in child workers. De facto slaves living less than 600 miles from the coast of the United States. The mere idea sends deep shivers of sadness through me.

According to the seminal work of Jean-Robert Cadet “Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle-Class American”:

Restavecs are slave children who “belong” to well-to-do families. They receive no pay and are kept out of school. Since the emancipation and independence of 1804, affluent blacks and mulattoes have reintroduced slavery by using children of the very poor as house servants. They promise poor families in faraway villages who have too many mouths to feed a better life for their children. Once acquired, these children lose all contact with their families and, like slaves of the past, are sometimes given new names for the sake of convenience.

What is the genesis for such tacitly endorsed slavery. Eighty percent of Haiti’s population lives below the poverty line, the average family income seldom exceeding $250 (U.S.) a year, a sum that must–on average–feed, clothe, and shelter four or five children. Most of the population is young (40 percent are under fifteen) and most Haitians die before fifty. Almost half of Haiti’s families are headed by single women, and the burden of sustaining their families can be too great. Many families fall apart.

Sadly, cultural norms also validate this well-worn institution. A popular Creole proverb says: ti moun seyen malere (“children are the unfortunate goods of the poor”). Children become “goods” in that they are a negotiable commodity that can be exploited or sold. They are “unfortunate” in that Haitians believe that any child who can turn a family’s fortune around has the obligation to do so. For Haitians, big families can be an insurance policy.

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