For the anniversary of the January 12, 2010 earthquake that rocked the poor and proud island nation of Haiti, it is necessary to look past the media representation of a pitiful population in need of charity, and instead look to images of hope and renew our commitment of solidarity.
Nothing quite expresses the loss and grief of an entire people synchronous with longing reverie like a blind troubadour. At the base of the fallen majestic cathedral, I felt a certain soulful buoyancy in the presence of this pair that transcended the harsh reality of life in Haiti’s capital. For a moment, hunger pangs and aches and pains subsided, as guitar notes were humbly emancipated from their idleness along with the hearts that listened.
There were many other sights, sounds, feelings, and experiences that made Haitian history in 2010. The history written by the rulers, however, is different than the one I watched Haitians enact in their struggle for justice, human rights, and dignity. In the act of protesting, laughing, or walking alongside their brothers and sisters in spite of all structural impediments, pity is not their desire. In 2010, the world made promises to Haiti that were not fulfilled, we must fight to make sure they are.