"Noirisme After Papa Doc" by Georges Anglade (1944-2010)

An excerpt from Anglade’s "The Booby Traps of History," translated by Anne Pease McConnell. Anglade was a writer and a fiery critic of the Duvalier dictatorship. In his short story, he portrays how many noiristes became less radical in 1970s and 1980s.

His walk was the same, though a little slower, his broad waist had not thickened too much, his stocky silhouette and especially his immaculate white guayabera identified his exactly, even from behind. It was the Beloved Doctor, the inspired ideologist of the color question who had contributed to the changes of 1946 and who had closely participated in François Duvalier’s takeover in 1957. He was strolling along a wide sidewalk in the Canapé-Vert section of Port-au-Prince, toward the ice cream shop on the corner, surrounded by four grandchildren, holding the youngest by the hand. This little group chirped and chattered in Québec accents, in a joyous confusion punctuated by cries of "Grandfather! Grandfather!"

He was the shock theoretician of noirisme, "black-ism," and a formidable polemicist. Twenty years of searching to prove that the national dynamic of Haiti for two centuries had been in essence a relentless struggle between blacks and mulattos…

The ice cream dripped from little hands which were having trouble holding the cones. Grandfather’s handkerchief went from one little face to the other to wipe off here a little chocolate, there a little vanilla. He had succeeded in gathering his little group around him again for the return expedition. That is the moment that I chose to approach. He recognized me immediately. Warmly. And with a burst of laughter that was worth a thousand words, he introduced the two little blond boys as his grandchildren, the sons of the first marriage of his son-in-law from Saguenay and the two little mulatto girls as the daughters of his youngest son.