After too long a period of Three Suns languishing, I'm reviving the blog with an expanded scope. Instead of continuing to focus solely on Haiti, I'm expanding to include the broader African diaspora. The decision was prompted by my traveling to Senegal for a faculty seminar on hip hop, politics, and critical resilience.
Sponsored by the School for International Training, the seminar ran from June 12 to June 20, 2022 and included faculty and study abroad administrators from colleges and universities from New York state and Philadelphia to New Orleans, to Oregon, Washington in the U.S. to Martinique in the Caribbean. Besides meeting with hip hop artists in Dakar and environs, we traveled to Gorée Island, an iconic location where enslaved persons were held before shipment to the Americas, and to Saint-Louis, where we learned about creolization or the mixing of cultures.
While I have traveled extensively in the Caribbean and Latin America with a focus on the African diaspora, I have wanted for decades to visit the African continent. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SIT seminar was postponed for three years. I never wavered in my determination to take the trip and eagerly responded affirmatively when SIT opened the door to the seminar.
In the days and weeks to come, I'll describe my experiences in Senegal, the first subsaharan Francophone country to gain its independence. I'll try to convey the emotional reactions and the learning I experienced traveling to Senegal and reflecting there and back in the U.S. Where it is relevant, I'll relate life and culture in Senegal to life and culture in Haiti and elsewhere in the African diaspora.
Please join me in this new adventure that I and more than a dozen other human beings underwent.