Will I Still Be Haitian?

If I have an Eagle on my passport, will I still be Haitian?

If I come to enjoy pizza over rice and beans, will I still be Haitian?

If my accent becomes heavy, will I still be Haitian?

If I start to listen to American rap, will I still be Haitian?

If I want to go to college in America, will I still be Haitian?

As my cousin and I made our way to Staten Island, the Statue of Liberty was in our background as we had a conversation about citizenship. He was born in Haiti and on his path to success in the States, upon receiving citizenship. The reality of the situation is that all his financial aid is dependent on his citizenship. FYI- Yes, he is in the country legally!
I found it interesting that as we sat on the ferry with tourists from all other the wolrd, my cousin, who has researched the citizenship process, returned to a simple question:  will I still be Haitian?  While the legal  answer might be no, the cultural and emotional answer is yes.
Here are a few pictures of Haiti and New York City. Today, I do not choose what I am. I simply acknowledge where I am and where I left Haiti.

Walking in Port au Prince

A tent city G....

Welcome President Duvalier.....

Reunited and it feels so good...

Street Art in PetionVille

Statue of Liberty at Night.


~ by travelling womanists on July 19, 2010.

35 Responses to “Will I Still Be Haitian?”

  1. As the saying goes, you can take the person out of a country but you cannot take the country out of the person. You may have an eagle on your passport but I think (and I don’t know you) you will still retain your Haitian identity. I’m similar not an American but going through the US citizen process and I have asked this question constantly. Thought provoking post, thanks for sharing.

  2. Great shots! I liked the last one of the Statue of Liberty – nice effects. Thanks for posting.

  3. I think this is something alot of Haitians face. Good post.

  4. ~
    there is always a tension between what “societal codes” (of all kinds) want for you to be and what you are and/or want to do with your life, even if you were in Haiti as a Haitian 😉
    I am sure there were certain things you didn’t like about the general picture, or at least I can tell you I have those problems with my people (those living in Cuba and in Miami/US).
    I was born in Havana/Cuba, went to school in Germany and have lived in the NYC metro area for 15 years. As you grow you become less impressionable, but you will always find the way to be yourself wherever you are. At the very least you can pick and take the best of this and the best of that (or fancy about it ;-)) and those experiences make life much richer
    Certain things about America I don’t like either. In fact I find them totally crazy and inhumane (“true” “Americans” go into their expected knee jerk reaction when they hear such things, which is incredibly similar to the reaction of certain kinds of people back in Cuba ;-)), e.g., I go LOL when people here say that they are not being “brainwashed” that this is a “free” country … 😉
    Where do Haitian people hang out in the city? They used to have night sessions at SOBs.
    Just try to take it easy and take care
    Camilo López

    • So many places depending on age and borough! So, of course SOBS, but tons of places in Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island. Camilo, after having visited Cuba twice, I could only imagine, how people perceive you. As you already said, even if you were in Haiti, you would not be Haitian enough and that is true. It is a fine line, but a line that makes one enjoy culture and how fortunate we are to know more than one reality. Thanks for checking out the blog!

  5. Pretty cool pics!

    Check us out at Road Rage with A & A

  6. These are amazing pictures.

    I especially love the street art.

    You’re a gifted photographer. I’ll be back to read/see more of your experiences.

  7. Thannk you so much for these comments and photos. The answer of course is YES, YES, you will always be Haitian. And, there is a view and belief that we choose who we are and that we choose our families. So, believing that is truth, you will always be Haitian, regardless of what you choose to do and where you choose to be. Be proud and feel good about who and what you are! You are a gift o the planet.
    Be well,

  8. You will always be Haitian. I spend a lot of time in Haiti and I’ve learned to be proud of who I am from the people I love in Haiti. But I will always be Native American. Thank you for the beautiful words – I will not forget them. Jeane

  9. Yes you will.I moved from the Dominican rep to Norway when I was 5 years old. I’ll be honest and say that I speak Norwegian and English better than Spanish. Sad but true. Ultimately, it is where your heart is that matters! hugs from Oslo

  10. The old saying- you can take the girl out of…. applies here. I have left my native Scandinavia years ago, but in some cases I still feel very sternly rooted there. No piece of paper or cover of a passport would ever change that.

  11. I enjoyed your post… Good point. 🙂

    Cheers, Niconica

  12. Why last photo are …?

  13. Yeah, you will still be Haitian. When an immigrant becomes a citizen, they pledge loyalty to that country of which they are becoming a citizen of. But that doesn’t change their love for their birth country. You may be American legally, but you are both American and Haitian at heart.

  14. You will still be Haitian 🙂 Also, I liked your pictures!!

  15. The answer is that you are what your heart tells you you are. I was born in England, and live in Spain, but I’m neither.

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed! Impressive blog.

  16. Don’t be afraid of who or what you are!

  17. that’s a really interesting post. I agree, and think you will definitely alway be haitian. It’s who you are, and who you are is beautiful and to be remembered, no matter where you travel. You can have as many homes as you would like to fit into your heart 🙂

  18. nice work,Welcome return visit!

  19. you will still be haitian..

  20. Sak Passe! love the post. I am Haitian-American. Born and raised in NYC, but in a very Haitian family. So nice to have found you!

  21. Great post.I’m enjoy.

  22. Good post.I amazing photo.

  23. I was faced with the similar question about my identity. yes, I am Korean, but I was born here. Where does my allegiance go to?

    Quite frankly, I have decided to stop thinking about labeling myself. I am who I am. If some people chose to see me as Korean, go ahead, I tell them. If others chose to see me as American, I tell them the same thing – go ahead.

  24. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sean Jacobs, Things. Things said: Will I Still Be Haitian?: If I have an Eagle on my passport, will I still be Haitian? If I come to enjoy p… http://tinyurl.com/2wo3uqd […]

  25. I think you are who you are. I am Swedish but was born in Japan and lived my first 8 years there, considering myself Japanese. Then I came to Sweden “my” country where totally didn’t fit. For now I live in Luxembourg and the future will show where I go to live next. I don’t feel Swedish, I don’t feel Japanese, I just feel human. If I would pinpoint anything, I’d say I feel European. You are always who you are in your heart. I am a citizen of the world and everybody is my countryman/woman. I like your post.

  26. No matter how far you’ve reached and come never forget to look back where you came from , because without them you wouldn’t be who you are today.

  27. I think you will still be Haitian. If I moved out of my state and lived somewhere else for months, and liked their pizza better, and other things, I’d still have that first home in my heart. So, I think you still will even if you like pizza, or listen to rap, it’ll never be erased because of that.

  28. My father was born in Haiti. I was born in New York. We love America but there are times where I see my dad really misses home. He has an accent and speaks Haitian Creole with his family. Born a Haitian always a Haitian 🙂

  29. Great post. And who said it has to be one or the other. Being overwhelmed by choice is in, and two is not that many 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: