Black American activists emerged as the most outraged and vocal critics of the occupation. Many felt a unique kinship with Haitians, a kinship affirmed by shared ancestral ties to Africa and common encounter with Atlantic slavery and white supremacy. Many blacks activists found the treatment of Haitian people by American military abhorrent and hoped the occupation would crumble. James Weldon Johnson, Napoleon Bonaparte Marshall, and the founders and patrons of the John Joseph Industrial School served as the most prolific voices of Black activism in response to the occupation. It was Johnson, however, whose revealing exposés and condemnation of the occupation, garnered support for anti-occupation sentiments among political affiliates, black and white, in the United States. Overall, Black activists challenged the existing notion by white politicians that their political stances and presence were insignificant to American politics using the occupation as its catalyst.
When American marines landed in Haiti, white fig...
... middle of paper ...
...y and “slavery it was.” Johnson conceded that the occupation helped in advancements in transportation that many of these advancements existed in Haiti. Haitians built a national highway that took commuters from Port-au-Prince to Cape Haitien under Marine supervision. The highway did not bode well with Haitians. Johnson saw “these people scramble in terror often up the side” for safety. Further, road were not common in Haiti because Haitian took pride in owning their own properties. According to Johnson, Haitians received plots of lands seized from French slave- holders by Haitian revolutionaries. Property remained a salient descriptor of freedom for Haitians, even the poorest among them. Johnson exposed the fraudulency of American occupation and guaranteed the occupation’s destruction. He gave more blacks a reason to directly assist in helping the Haitian people.
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