Like Katherine Dunham, Lillian Hellman, W.B. Seabrook, Erik Leonard Ekman, Alejo Carpentier, Selden Rodman, Noel Coward and Angeline Jolie, many people say that Haiti is the most beautiful country in the Caribbean. Known as the "Magic Land", Haiti is famous for its culture. Certainly, Haiti its culture, its superstitions and its music. The superstitions or voodoo plays a profound role in the lives of many Haitians. The voodoo was introduced into Haiti in the late 16th Century. Haiti is also famous for its painting, and finally for its ruins...for example the Sans Souci Palace, the most famous ruins in the Caribbean. Exactly, this enigmatic palace is considered a Cultural Heritage for Humanity by UNESCO. Originally constructed by black slaves, now Sans Souci is one of Haiti's main tourist attractions.
Since the late 1940s, Haitian painting, best known as "naïve art" or "intuitive art", is famous all around the World. The most important figure was Hector Hyppolite. His work made its biggest splash in the United States in the 20th Century. Other artists known internationally include Rigaud Benoit, Castera Bazile, Joseph Jean-Giles and Jean-Baptista Bottlex.Haiti is famous for its traditional sculpture. The best Haitian sculptor is Albert Mangoes.
Nelust Wyclef Jean (singer/Haitian-American): Original member of 1990s hip hop group The Fugees. Wyclef Jean is probably the most popular Haitian singer of all time. Jean was born in Croix des Bouquets (Haiti) on October 17, 1972. When he was just ten years old, he moved to the United States. Under leadership of Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill, The Fugees had several hits in the 1990s, including The Score (The Score album sold 6 million copies). Since 1997, Wyclef Jean, as soloist, became well-known on the international music scene. Like songwriter and producer, Jean collaborated with superstars as Santana, Withney Houston, Mick Jagger,Bono,Tevin Cambpell, Bounty Killer, Eric Benet, Sarah Connor, Claudette Ortiz, Tarkan, Michael Jackson, Youssou N´Dor, Shakira, Olga Tañon, Carlos Ponce and Julio Voltio. During the last seven years, he has sold more than 10 millions albums worldwide. In 2002, his single Masquerade was a great success.
Since then, Wyclef Jean is a man that always works with love for Haiti, one of the World's poorest countries. Recently, he makes perhaps his best work: "Yele Haiti", a foundation which works for the human development in the Island. Like Miriam Makeba in South Africa or Bianca Jagger in Nicaragua, Jean loves his roots. In an interview for Magazine, Wyclef Jean discussed about Haitian roots: "I am 100% Haitian. I am proud to be Haitian. I still have my Haitian passport. I represent Haiti in everything that I do. Every head in the industry knows that I am Haitian...they know what I'm about. I was Haitian forst. Haitian till die!", said Jean.
Discography: Wyclef Jean Present the Carnival Featuring the refugee All-Stars (1997) / The Ecleftic:2 Sides II a Book/ Masquerade (2002) / The Preacher's (2003)/ Sak Pasé Presents: Creole 101( 2004) /Hips Don't Lie (with Shakira, 2006).
FAMOUS HAITIAN WOMEN
Michaëlla Jean (Governor-General of Canada)/ Yvonne Neptune (former Prime Minister)/Claudette Werleigh (Prime Minister 1995-1996)/Lina Blanchet (singer)/ Edwidge Danticat (writer)/ Michelle Bennett Duvalier(First Lady of Haiti 1981-1986)/ Luce Turnier (painter)/ Ertha Pascal-Trouillot (Head of State 1990-1991)/ Marie Casimir (journalist) / Sonia Sekula (Painter) / Marie Chauvet (writer)/ Suzanne Comhaire-Sylvain (writer)/ Carmen Brouard (singer)/Dayana Bennett (journalist and actress) / Elie Price (singer)/ Blanche Bosselman (singer)/ Lina Mathon (singer)/ Georgette Moliere (singer)/ Simone Ovide Duvalier (First Lady of Haiti 1957-1981)/ Marleine Bastien (human rights leader)/ Garcelle Beauvais (actress and model)/ Deborah Saint-Phard (track and field)/ Antoinette Gauthier (track and field), Louise Pierre (track and field)/ Rose Gauthier (track and field)
Edwidge Danticat (writer): One of the Caribbean's most famous writers in the 21st Century. She has written several novels and collections of shore stories, including Kri? Kra!, nominated for a National Book Award. Danticat attracted international attention in 1997 when she wrote perhaps her most famous novel Farming of the Bones, a story about genocide Haitians under the repressive dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.
Garcelle Beauvais (actress): She is the first Haitian actress to star on television. Although she has lived in the United States for many years, the actress and former fashion model Garcelle Beauvais was born in Saint Marc, a city in Haiti, in 1966. She is perhaps best known for her role as Francesca Monroe on TV's the Jamie Foxx Show. Like Gerthie David, Joelle Apollon, Evelyn Miot, and Marjorie Vincent, she has the classic beauty of the Haitian black woman
Gerthie David "The Black Goddess"
In 1975, many Haitian people were shocked to open their newspapers and see photographs of Gerthie David Miss Haiti in El Salvador. On the night of July 19th 1975, in San Salvador, Gerthie David, Miss Haiti, was the second black woman to first runner-up in the history of Miss Universe Pageant. After winning the Miss Haiti title, Gerthie went to San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador, to enter the Miss Universe Contest. The competence was exhausting, very hard, for example Miss Bolivia, Jackeline Gammarra, great favorite, was eliminated. This day, Miss Haiti looks like a black goddess. Her exotic beauty and charming personality are amazing! At 1,72m in height, she was the best in the evening gown competition, but her speech about the Haitian superstitions swayed thousands of applauses in the 25th Edition of the Contest. Certainly, Miss Haiti captive to the judges Sarah Vaughan (American black singer), Maribel Arrieta (Miss El Salvador 1955 and First runner-up at Miss Universe 1955), Jean Claude Killy (French sportsmen) and Leon Uris(American writer ).
When Bob Barker, the host this pageant, announces the final placements, Gerthie was cheered by the entire auditorium. Suddenly, her pulse rate beats at thousand per minute... "First runner-up is Miss Haiti!", said Barker. She was one of the most exotic delegates in all history of Miss Universe. In the 1970s, Gerthie David was a model from Port-au Prince and she became a symbol to the Haitian youth.
Next months, in London, Joelle Apollon, Miss Haiti-World, came in sixth place at Miss World 1975.After sixteen years, Marjorie Vincent, formerly Miss Illinois 1991,won the title of Miss America Pageant. The first Miss America to originate from the Caribbean. In other words, Marjorie Vincent has Haitian roots. Furthermore, she was the second black woman to win the pageant.
Like in Brazil or Italy, the football is the most popular sport in Haiti. Certainly, the national pastime is the football. A different of the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico, the Haitian people don't like the baseball. In the 20th Century, football became the most popular sport in the Island, thanks to such heroes as Sylvio Cator, Joseph Gaetjens and Emmanuel Sanon. In 1974 Haiti qualified for the World Cup in Germany.
Emmanuel Sanon was one of the Haiti's most popular players and played at the 1974 World Cup. Sanon made a great contribution to Haitian football because he played in more World Cup qualifiers any other Haitian. He is still very popular with local fans. Other phenomenal talent was Joseph Eduard Gaetjens. He represented both Haiti and the United States. He made FIFA World Cup History: When scored United States opening goal in the 1950 World Cup against England. Joseph came to the United States in the 1940s to play in the American Soccer League. His beautiful play in the Brookhattan Club made in a national star. In 1953, he played for Haiti for the first time.
It's practically impossible to talk about Haitian athletes without mentioning Sylvio Cator. He is a legend in this sport. Cator won the silver medal in the long jump at 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. Cator returned home to a hero's welcome. From 1928 to 1930, he was record man in the long jump. Cator was a marvelous jumper and footballer. He also played an important role in popularizing football in the Island (it was the captain of Haitian National Team).
Since then, he is an example for young people in Haiti. He died in November 1938, but today the people of Haiti still think of him with respect. Many years after Cator's death, the National Stadium in Por-au-Prince was renamed in his honor. Cator was the first of the great Caribbean sportsmen that would come to dominate world track and field.
Bruny Surin (Canada-Haiti/track field)/ Edrick Floreal (Canada-Haiti/track field)/ Samuel Dalembert ( USA-Haiti/basketball) / Ronald Agenor (USA-Haiti/tennis)/ Sylvio Cator (track and field)/ Yves Jeudy (Box)/ Dieudonne Lamothe (marathon)/ Ludovic Augustin (shooting)/ Ludovic Volborge (shooting)/ Joseph Eduard Gaetjens (Haiti-USA/football)/ Dudley Dorival (track field)/ Fitz Plantin Andre (football)/ Emmanuel Sanon (football)/ Josmer Altidore (Haitian-American/football).
Dudley Dorival (track and field): Dudley Dorival was born on 1 September 1975 in Elizabeth (New Jersey, USA). Dorival is the son of Haitian parents and got Haitian nationality just in time for the XXVII Summer Olympics Games. Since the 2000 Olympics, Dudley Dorival has competed in international competitions under the banner of Haiti. In Sydney (Australia) Dorival finished 7th in the 110m hurdles. He became the first Haitian to Olympic finalist since Yves Jeudy (boxer) in 1976. He won the silver medal at the 1994 World Junior Championship, the bronze at the 2001 World Chanpionship and the gold medal at the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games El Salvador. Dorival is one of the best sportsman in the history of Haiti.
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