photo: Conrad Fox
Haiti has long been associated with corruption, chaos - and grinding poverty. It’s often labeled ‘the poorest country in the Western hemisphere’ and ‘one of the most unequal countries in the world.’ And while those stereotypes may be grounded in truth, it is also true that Haiti is so much more than that. With an extraordinary history dating back to the slave rebellion of 1791, and the establishment of the first Black republic in the world, in 1804, Haitians are proud and resilient people who face down natural disasters, economic deprivation and disapproval from abroad.
In the one-hour special, Haiti Untold, we tell a story of Haiti that is not often heard: the hope, the pride, the creativity and the proud independence of the people. Our teams of reporters spent months tracking down important stories and authentic voices. Upbeat stories about Haitians returning to their home country from the US, bringing passion, commitment and expertise to help Haiti thrive; troubling stories about human trafficking across the border with the Dominican Republic, and stories about urbanization, the MeToo movement, and recycling efforts in Haiti.
Block party in Port-au-Prince with DJ Michael Brun
Music is an integral part of life in Haiti – you hear it everywhere: in the stores, the slums and the swanky hotels. Haitian musician Michael Brun is making a name for himself on the international music scene, melding traditional music of Haiti with Electronic Dance Music. Michael sat down with us to talk about his desire to disrupt and reframe the negative stereotypes of Haiti that suffuse media coverage of the country.
Additionally we hear from Haiti expert and history professor, Laurent Dubois, from Duke University. The author of acclaimed books Haiti: The Aftershocks of History, and Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution gives us the historical background so critical to understanding the island nation.
The documentary is hosted by Carline Desire who lives in Boston but is originally from Haiti, and by Conrad Fox a Canadian journalist currently living in Mexico. The stories were contributed by Phares Jerome, Vladimir Ridore, Amy Bracken, Michel Joseph and Aida Alami.
Haiti Untold is being broadcast by many public radio stations across the country, from KQED in San Francisco, to WBUR in Boston- and many in between. Check your local stations to see if it is airing Haiti Untold, from Round Earth Media.