Include Haitian literature/history books in Miami-Dade, Broward & Palm Beach lesson plans

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I have lived in Miami since I was 2 ½ years old, matriculating from elementary to middle, to high school and eventually getting a college degree. Never in my 17 years of education in this country was I ever taught about Haiti’s history. While we learn of the Louisiana Purchase, we aren't ever told of the impact Haiti’s victory over France had on that territorial acquisition. While we learn of the American Revolution, we are never taught about the more than 500 Haitian gens de couleurs who contributed to American independence fighting in the Revolutionary War’s bloody siege of Savannah. While we learn of Hitler and his extermination of the Jews during the Holocaust, not once is it ever mentioned that a significant number of Jewish families found refuge in Haiti.

The President of the United States made comments about Haiti earlier this year which, while they need not be repeated, reinforced the lack of education with regards to Haiti, its history and the worldwide impact of its revolution. We have children of Haitian descent, in our public school system, who are still trying to figure out how they “fit in.” Assimilation is not easy when you are surrounded by people who don’t know anything about you. The best way to meet these issues head on is through education. With this Petition, we endeavor to have Haitian literature and history books (written and/or contributed in large part by Haitian historians/authors) included in the ordinary curriculum in the Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County School Districts.

If you agree that it is time for Haiti’s history to be commonplace in the education system, if not nationally, at least here in tri-county area where we host the largest Haitian-American population in the country, then please sign this Petition as a show of support.

Thank you.