Felicité, is the wife of Jan-Jak Dessalines, a strong woman who was much older than him. He was her third husband. She was our first nurse. They talk about Florence Nightingale but she was before her. She took care of the soldiers even the French soldiers. She had a strong personality and told Dessalines ‘your enemies are not mine, let me choose mine’. Sometimes, she negotiated with Dessalines to return the French soldiers to France. She taught him to read and write as her first husband who freed her, taught her. She had no children but adopted all of Dessalines children. Her house remains in Dessalines ville [the first capital of Haiti called the Imperial Town] near Arbonite in the north.
In school, we do not learn any of these, they don’t tell us where Dessalines comes from, sometimes they talk about him as if he is a bad person. The problem is our history books were written by Frères de l’Instruction Chrétienne and the point is: how can you ask someone to write your story and this person is the one you beat up!
Haiti, Feminist Series 6, In conversation with Souzen Joseph by Sokari (via caribbeancivilisation)