Race, Nation, and the Symbolics of Servitude in Haitian Noirisme

  • Valerie Kaussen
Part of the New Directions in Latino American Cultures book series (NDLAC)


In 1915 the U.S. military invaded Haiti citing as its excuse a particularly bloody coup d’état. For several weeks prior to the invasion, U.S. navy boats anchored off Haiti’s coast awaited the right moment to disembark their marines and gain a foothold in the unstable nation lying too close for comfort to U.S. shores. As most historians note, the goal of the occupation was to rid the island of European influence—especially German and French—and to set up the minimum required infrastructure to assure a safe location for U.S. investment. The U.S. marines took over all customs receipts, rewrote the constitution after a rigged plebiscite to allow for foreign ownership of land and industries, and established martial law, using very undemocratic techniques in the effort to force Haiti along the road to stable “modern” nationhood.


Colonial Period Cane Plantation Black Middle Class Black Skin Colonial Past 
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Copyright information

© Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valerie Kaussen

There are no affiliations available

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