Haiti 1904. The city…Port-au-Prince. Haitian families, ever the devoted Catholics, are trotting over to a church procession.
A wharf in Haiti at this time, filled with business people.
The hustle and bustle of the city life.
Another view of a typical street during that time.
Here stands Pierre Nord Alexis standing for his presidential portrait in 1905. He was president of Haiti from December 1902 to December 1908. According to the 1910 edition of History for Ready Reference, from the Best Historians, Biographers by Alan Campbell Reiley, Mr. Alexis was forced into exile to Jamaica (after considering Martinique and St Thomas). He took his family to New Orleans, and then to Jamaica, where he died.
The Haitian literary scene truly begun to take shape in the 1900s. In April 1906, Haiti lost one of its most beloved poets and writers Oswald Durand (above), who had written the celebrated poem “Choucoune”. The poem was eventually adapted into a song, including an adaptation done by Harry Belafonte in 1957 entitled “Yellow Bird”. Haitian Montreal-born actress and model Johanne Harrelle also did her own rendition of it in the 1964 film A Tout Prende. There’s even a Creole-Spanish version done by the la Coral Canta Mundo, de Venezuela. One of the most beloved versions is of course the Haitian version done by Herby Widmaier on vocals backed by the Issa el Isaieh band.
A young woman stares as a photographer snaps this piece of daily life in Haiti in the 1900s.
A fire station in Port-au-Prince on Haiti’s famed Grand Rue, one of the busiest streets in the capital’s downtown area.
Le Grand Hôtel de France, a hotel in Port-au-Prince on Haiti’s Rue Bonne Foi, that was built during the presidency of president Tiresias Simon Sam. later the building was converted into a bank.
Photos: Detroit Publishing and the Peter C. Jeannopoulos Photo collection and Lehman CUNY.