You are here:

  • blog

Haitian Independence and the Chinese Caribbean Diaspora

Written by Catherine R Peters |

Seventy years ago in January 1952, theatre curtains opened upon Derek Walcott’s Henri Christophe. Having written the script a few years earlier, the Saint Lucian poet and playwright attended the debut a week before he turned twenty-two. The performance featured many students who would become celebrated in Caribbean culture, art, and politics. Assembling at a theatre within easy walking distance of both Buckingham Palace and Westminster, they dramatised the early years of Haitian independence as the first Black sovereign state in the region. In defiance of institutions that had overseen their own colonisation for hundreds of years, these men narrated the political struggle that ensued after the deaths of three prominent Haitian leaders: Toussaint Louverture in 1803, Jean-Jacques Dessalines in 1806, and Henri Christophe in 1820.