“People didn’t want Haitians teaching liberation to the rest of the world. All of those blockades from first-world countries left Haiti without infrastructure, without tools, without hospitals and schools. Here’s your freedom, but you’re on your own. Learning about that history was how I was introduced to the Negritude Poets.”
Spring break of my seventh-grade year was not my wildest on record, though what it lacked in the usual spring break trappings it made up for in folk art and maple syrup. Years later, my mother admitted she’d planned our road trip to Bennington, Vermont on a lark, lured there by the prospects of a Grandma Moses exhibition. Though my younger brother and I didn’t share Mom’s enthusiasm for Grandma Moses, we shared her minivan nonetheless. 700 miles later, we arrived at our destination—or almost. As we drove in circles in search of Grandma’s art, we found instead a rare eyesore on the otherwise unblemished terrain.