Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat is a Haitian-American writer living in Miami. She won the American Book Award in 1999 for “The Farming of Bones.” Her most recent book, “Brother, I’m Dying,” is a finalist for the National Book Award.

Editor's note: The author is a winner of the American Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and a two-time finalist for the National Book Award.

June 20 is World Refugee Day, and we should honor this day by demanding that our government do more to protect those who exercise the universal human right to seek ayslum.

Haiti, April 26, 1963: Some will commemorate this date with religious services, conferences, radio forums, film screenings, and testimonials.

Some will commemorate it on social media, on Twitter and Facebook.

Others will choose to commemorate it privately, without uttering a word.

Others will decide not to commemorate at all.

A radio spot declares:

Ann sonje viktim yo.
Ann aprann sa k te pase.
Ann kenbe rasin memwa nou.

Two years ago in Haiti, the Earth opened, buildings collapsed, and people died—300,000 to be precise. Anniversaries hurt. They brutalize the body. They pummel the spirit.

Edwidge Danticat has won the prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship. This comes from a 2007 piece in The Progressive magazine.

Fifteen years ago this month, the novelist Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for literature, the second American woman and the first black American to do so. On this anniversary, we should once again celebrate her accomplishments.

While most Americans have understandably been concerned about Ike’s assault on Texas, people in Haiti just a few hundred miles away are suffering an even worse fate.

He stirs us out of apathy and can bring ground-breaking change.Because, as you may have possibly heard, the Democratic Presidential candidates did not campaign in Miami, where I live, and they, as of

Edwidge Danticat, November 7, 2007

A new study on the early path of the AIDS epidemic threatens to stigmatize Haitians and Haitian-Americans once again.

A few years ago, I flew to Port-au-Prince from New York while my cousin Laris was flown in the cargo section of a jet from Miami.

Another Country
By Edwidge Danticat

November 2005

In Zora Neale Hurston’s visionary 1937 novel, Janie Crawford and her boyfriend Tea Cake, an African American day laborer, refuse to evacuate their small unsteady house before a deadly hurricane batters the Florida Everglades.


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White supremacist posters on campuses play on ignorance and fear within the very institutions that should be our...

Trump's politics are not the problem.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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