Black In Latin America: Haiti vs. Dominican Republic


I watched the first part of the seven part series Black in Latin America by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. You can catch it on PBS and will show every Tuesday from now till May 10th. I watched the first part particularly because it covered the tense race relations between Haiti and Dominican Republic. Learn more of the historical issues was very insightful. Being of Haitian decent. Raised by a Haitian mother I am pretty familiar with the situation but Black in Latin America provided some deeper insight. For the Dominicans their slave and master relationship differed from the of the Haitian cultivating a superiority complex among slaves. Similar to the divide between  field slaves and house slaves in America. That’s the best way I can describe it. Skin complexion also plays a major factor in being Black in Latin America. The lighter you are the better. This is something that is not just prevalent in the Caribbean but many cultures. It boggles my mind really.

Though 90 percent of Dominicans have African ancestry they do not consider themselves African. or even acknowledge their  African ancestry.  they tend to define themselves as “descended from Indians & Europeans”. This is shown in their statues that have been lightened to show a more European look. While in Haiti they embraces their African identity.  

Some of the key things that struck me about this documentary was the fact that the Haitian people in an attempt to rid themselves of everything that reminded them of the French and slavery ended up hindering their progress.  Haiti once the Pearl of  the Antilles suffered greatly by turning away from what made them great.

From watching this documentary I feel that it will help people to understand the situation between these two islands. Better understanding can promote better business practices, better relationships, education. People fear what the don’t know if you take the time out to learn you will be surprised at the misconceptions that you had.

To learn more about the series click the link for dates times http://ow.ly/4E7N1

Happy Flying,

~Solo Dove~

About the Author

Sandra Florent is the entertainment and non-profit publicist behind Solo Dove Public Relations. Based in New Jersey Solo Dove Public Relations provides personalized publicity, public relations, consulting, and event planning services to clients in their area of expertise.

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