Janjak Desalin – 17 Oktòb: Stop by Michel Sanon

Haiti: 207 years since Janjak Desalin

17 Oktòb: Stop
“..Wake me up when the party starts
On the twentieth
Of September.” — Sanba Michel Sanon

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Oct. 17, 2013 – 207 years of suffering later. The Gathering honors the roots of liberty, Janjak Desalin and the indigenous Haiti army. We bow to the union that’s never wavered – the Bwa Kayiman union of African peoples. In their names, before all that we don’t see,  before all that is greater than we, we swear to live free or die, never to integrate with injustice. (For entire piece, see last year’s post)

the free haiti movement flagThis year’s featured FreeHaitiMovement post honoring Haiti’s founding father – Janjak Desalin (born, September 20, 1758, assassinated Oct. 17, 1806) is from brilliant Haiti poet and Ezili Network contributor, Sanba Michel Sanon.

On October 15, 2013 Sanba Sanon, wrote:

“Onè, Sanba Zili!
Bay kou bliye, pote mak sonje.

To some, a good Dessalines is a dead Dessalines. To us, it’s otherwise. We know what we lost. This (17 Oktòb) is for us a time of mourning and shame. Let’s share this poem together:

logo17 Oktòb: Stop

I was raised
In the fog of ignorance
Cultured to celebrate
Shame and infamy
With a cheerful heart
Year after year
October seventeen
Pour le pays, pour les ancêtres
The flag
The bands
The beautiful sounds
The display of skills
The smiles and the cheers…
Why was I taught to cheer
When I should be mourning?
The precious blood
Spilled in the dust
The enduring stain
On the collective soul
The shattered dream…
Why was I taught
That shame is beautiful?
Why was I trained
To take pride
In counting losses
And to ignore the blessings
Of the rising sun?
The sun had to rise.
It had to rise
For the chains to fall.
It had to rise
For my dignity to grow
For my humanity to shine
Throughout this galaxy.
I want to celebrate
The rising of the sun.
I say goodbye
To the fraud culture.
I shut my ears
To the symphony of deception
Dans nos rangs, plein de traitres
October seventeen…
I no longer march
To the beat of this drum.
I no longer wish to drink
Of this poisonous cup
Wake me up when the party starts
On the twentieth
Of September.

Michel Sanon
(Montreal)

**************

Janjak Desalin, Haiti’s Founding Father

…“Recall everything I have sacrificed to fly to your defense – relatives, children, wealth, so that now the only riches I possess is your freedom. Recall that my name horrifies all those who are enslavers, and that tyrants and despots everywhere only bring themselves to utter it when they curse the day I was born. Remember, if you should ever discard or forget the law that the God who watches over your well being has dictated to me for your happiness, you will deserve the fate that inures to ungrateful peoples. ” Jean Jacques Dessalines, Haitian Act of Independence, January 1, 1804

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Bayyinah Bello : Jean Jacques Dessalines

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