As the Sun Sets Over Port-au-Prince
By Jacques Fleury
In honor of my mother Marie-Evelyne Toussaint, an iconoclast in her own right
In Haiti, I grew up taking blood baths, basking in the epoch of oppression. I am a Creole poet, despite the un-equivocal fact that my nation was occupied by the French. My Caribbean spice rack is stock full of flavored stories which I will gladly tell you just enough to satisfy your hunger for the knowledge of courage of my people; since my blood was once the color of slavery. But now, since I left Haiti for America, I dream the dream that every Americans dream: to sleep on the pillows of justice, freedom and opportunity. After all, aren't we all entitled to be happy? So now watch me run from the lasso of the unjust, just to make it under the wire of justice.
The great Cuban singer/song writer Joseito Fernadez, who penned the lyrics to the popular song "Guantanamera" wrote, "...with the poor people of this earth, I want to share my faith." But like him, my heart has been oppressed and wired and my vocal codes have been tapped, but like the great Rhythm and Blues singer Marvin Gaye so eloquently said, "True artists suffer for the people" and so I'm going to continue to say what I need to say even if it means some suffering along the way.