How Haiti is Still Feeling the Impact From Colonialism and Slavery
Ask Students: What was the reason behind the Haitian president’s agreement to France’s demands for reparations? How was Haiti’s economy affected by these payments?
Haitian President Jean-Pierre Boyer receiving Charles X’s decree recognizing Haitian independence on July 11, 1825. Bibliotheque Nationale de France
Once the richest colony in the New World, Haiti is now one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere for reasons that are often overlooked. The New York Times recently conducted an unprecedented investigation into those root causes, which includes an “independence debt” totaling to about $21 billion to Haiti’s former colonizer: France. The Times’ Catherine Porter, who led the team that uncovered the story, joins Ali Rogin to discuss. For a transcript of the video, click here.
In 2004, the Haitian president urged France to return the billions of dollars Haiti was forced to pay to preserve their independence. Do you think this should occur? How would this aid Haiti today?
Media Literacy: How can you find more information about Haiti’s history that wasn’t included in this segment?
See this explainer from AJ+: