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17378: Nlbo: Responding to Boston Haitians in the l990's (fwd)

From: Nlbo@aol.com

I have not had a chance to respond to the comments on the l990’s Haitians in
the Boston area, something written in response to my addressing the lack of
intergenerational participation as well as that of the intellectual sector and
U.S educated Haitians in the community’s day to day life. In this the global
world, a highly educated society, especially in the Boston area, every Haitian
voice, insight and input is needed to have a productive, vibrant, and efficient

 As I try to reminisce on the migration patterns and the issues in the last
20 years, the following came to mind. In the mid l980’s we were in the full
fledge of mass migration, be it by sea or by air. A lot of adjustments,
acculturations were being made. In addition to that, no matter of our social, academic
background, we had to come together to remove the Haitians as AIDS carriers.

In the early  up to the mid l990’s, we again had to come together to have
democracy return  and follow the unfolding of the return. Meanwhile we were hav
ing another influx of Haitian refugees and political migration. Again our minds
were collectively preocuppied with Haiti.

The babies who were born in the l980’s were children in the l990’s. Twenty
years later, we have a significant group that we could look at how they are
interacting or relating with/ to the community. At 20 years old, one is either
entering the workforce if you have not gone to college, or about to graduate
from college or in graduate school. If as a black person, a 20 year old is not in
one of those categories, if you are a male, more likely you are in jail or
dealing with the justice system. Haitians who were born in the mid l980’s,  are
in high school now. Another age group that needs close attention. Sex, teenage
pregnancy, peer pressure, gangs are all prevalent in the Haitian communities.

In this country, beginning at junior high , schools start getting the
students involve in community services, volunteer in shelters, day care centers etc.
In colleges, mentoring or doing field work in high schools or elementary
schools are fostered. The average american student, particularly those  in ivy
leagues starts going overseas,  in Third World countries to volunteer, experience
the Third World, or vacationing in Europe. After college, Peace Corps and
other government programs provide a two year stay in another country. By 22 the
typical Euro American has an exposure to the world. What about our Haitian

If one looks at the Haitian community agencies, some of the same programs,
i.e day care, shelters, schools, traveling to a Third World country ( to Haiti)
exist in a smaller scale. What mechanisms are in place so our junior high ,
high school or 20 year olds can participate in similar services that are
available in the Haitian communities? What mentoring system is available to those
Haitians? What roles do influential institutions in a community such as schools(
Haitian teachers) media (print, oral , and aural) churches are playing so that
Haitians can have  similar experiences right in their own communities?