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Haitian Heritage Month enters its final week — a 'robustly' positive celebration amid crisis

 A Haitian-American woman models a traditional Haitian dress and headwear at last year's Haitian Heritage Month celebration at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex in Miami.
Courtesy Little Haiti Cultural Complex
A Haitian-American woman models a traditional Haitian dress and headwear at last year's Haitian Heritage Month celebration at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex in Miami.

Haiti is in a state of emergency today — and Haitian community leaders here insist that’s all the more reason to remind people about their country’s proud history and culture during Haitian Heritage Month, whose final week of events starts this weekend.

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One important thing South Florida knows how to do is celebrate countries like Haiti — or Cuba or Venezuela — even when they’re in collapse. Which is why May — Haitian Heritage Month — is especially meaningful this year as Haiti's politics, economy and public security implode.

“It seems like the years that are the toughest for Haiti, those are the years that we celebrate the positives the hardest, and the celebrations are the most robust," said Sandy Dorsainvil, manager of the Little Haiti Cultural Complex at 212 NE 59th Terrace in Miami.

"We need that reinforcement to give us the encouragement to keep moving forward.”

There’s a decidedly robust slate of events rounding out Haitian Heritage Month’s concluding days at the Little Haiti complex.

  • The Sounds of Little Haiti festival Friday evening, from 6 to 11 p.m.
  • A Little Haiti birthday cocktail fete next Thursday evening, May 26, 6 to 10 p.m.
  • The Haitian Heritage 5K run Sunday morning, May 29, starting at 8 a.m. at the complex
  • The Lakay Film Society Festival, May 26 through May 29. It will feature the internationally acclaimed Haitian film “Freda,” which won special mention at last year’s Cannes festival and is a hopeful portrait of Haitians dealing with Haiti’s crisis.


“Especially when we’re looking at the images that our youth are seeing in the media about Haiti, about their families," Dorsainvil said, "it’s super-important that we remind them of the positive things that happen and their strong background.”

For more information about Haitian Heritage Month in Miami, you can visit the Little Haiti Cultural Complex site.

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