Like many cinematic love stories, Rachelle Salnave’s romance begins with an intense dislike bordering on hatred.
As a kid, the 40-year-old filmmaker explains in her self-narrated documentary, she didn’t want anyone knowing she was Haitian, owing to the negative media portrayals of people from the Caribbean country.
“They called us boat people!” Salnave exclaims. “The media constantly portrayed Haiti’s poverty, and the CDC even listed Haiti as the origin of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami (FANM), also known as the Haitian Women of Miami, will celebrate its 21st anniversary on Saturday. The organization, founded by Marleine Bastien, continues to be an influential organization within the Haitian community in Miami. Its work, though, includes advocacy efforts on behalf of Haitians far beyond Miami.
The new Notre Dame d'Haiti church in Little Haiti opened this past weekend. But fundraising for it began eight years ago.
For the church’s pastor, Father Reginald Jean-Mary, the process has been much longer than that.
"It began 35 years ago when Archbishop [Thomas] Wenski, [back then] Father Wenski, established this mission," Jean-Mary says. "Because at that time what you could say was that this was the 'church of the living stone' because of the people. Who built that church? The people."
In the city of North Miami, a third of the population is of Haitian descent, and Creole-language radio is vital. During the lead-up to Tuesday’s runoff for city council and mayor, all kinds of election drama played out over the airwaves.
In North Miami, anyone running for office has no choice but to keep up with the latest chatter on the radio, regardless of whether they speak Creole. Many of the city’s Haitian residents rely on radio for their news and often take as gospel what radio hosts tell them—even when it’s not true.