Syracuse University



From the beginning of its recorded history, Haiti has endured exploitation of its people and of its natural resources.  From December1492 when Columbus invaded and subsequently decimated the native Taino population, to the Haitian revolution for independence and the end of slavery from 1791-1804 lead by such heroes and Toussaint L’Ouverture, and Generals Jean-Jacque Dessalines, Henri Christophe and Alexandre Pétion; to the invasion and occupation of US forces (1915-1934); and to autocratic regimes such as the Duvaliers 91957-1986). 

Through the years, Western powers and modern aid programs have played major roles in further exploitation and in weakening Haiti’s political, economic, and social systems.

Yet, the legacy of Haiti, the first successful independent country, is to rise up again and again.

(Sources: Syracuse University Black Graduate Student Organization; Prof. Nigel Westmass; Dayan (1995) Haiti, History and the Gods; Heinl (1996) Written in Blood: The Story of the Haitian People 1492-1995.)