Officers of the Haitian army pose for a group photo in 1946. Several future presidents can be seen including Paul Eugène Magloire (he’s the sixth person if you’re counting from the left). Gerard Pierre-Charles an influential Haitian intellectual in later years, is also among the group.
Ah, the charming life of the Haitian bourgeoisie was captured in full swing by a visiting photographer from photo agency Keystone for Life Magazine. The photo show three young girls on New Year’s Day 1949 in the posh home of a Haitian family, chatting away in the den.
These are the Vavals, an upper middle class family in Haiti posing for a family photo in 1947.
In 1943, DeWitt Peters, an American arrived in Haiti to teach English as part of a non-combattant military service program, and was so impressed with painters there that he opened an art school called the Centre D’Art to formally teach Haiti’s talented painters. Philomé Obin, one of Haiti’s most celebrated artists can be seen here in this photo taken in 1944, working his craft while Peters (the one standing behind him) and other Haitian painters look on.
As they’ve done from the beginning of times, Haitian women were representing. In this photo taken in 1944, this beauty the daughter of one of Haiti’s biggest aristocrats, smiled jovially for the camera.
This lovely young woman is among those graduating from a literacy program that existed at the time in the countryside, specifically the town Marbial, Haiti in this photo taken in 1948.
Members of Haiti’s Military Academy posed for this 1945 photo. Ala gason yo bèl.
A Haitian extended family gathers for a group photo. Visiting anthropologists like Mercer Cook and Haiti’s very own Jean Price Mars noted that in the countryside, Haitian families kept the living traditions of their ancestors in Africa, including the “lakou” system, in which various families lived in one unit. Even today, when some of our parents say ‘fanmi’, they don’t just mean mom, dad, kids, they mean practically the whole family tree!
African-American intellectual W.E.B. Dubois (and himself a descendant of Haitians) is to the left in this photo. He was visiting Haiti in 1944 and met with Madame Roussan Camille (her actual name Laura Trouillot) wife of one of the biggest writers of the time, and an intellectual herself, and Haitian senator Emile St. Lot.
This is Elie Lescot, who was leading Haiti for much of the 1940s from May 15, 1941 to January 11, 1946.
Here he is again, posing with Haiti’s First Lady Georgina Saint-Aude. She looks rather elegant. But why are they standing so far apart…it’s like they’re right next to one another, yet there’s that significant little distance between them.
The 1948-1949 civil engineering graduates from the University of Haiti.
Ah, Haitian kanaval, 1949 style.
Photos: Corbis, Getty and the NYPL