Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (left) delivering remarks at his annual Haitian Flag Day event with Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte (right)
Photo Credit: John McCarten, NYC Council
I’m proud to represent District 45, which is home to a vibrant Haitian community. New York boasts the second largest population of Haitians outside of Haiti and Miami. For decades Haitian Americans have called Brooklyn home and have made significant cultural and economic contributions to the borough.
For the past several months, many New Yorkers have fallen prey to the Trump Administration’s assault on immigrants. I have been committed to providing access to information and resources to my Haitian brothers and sisters through Know Your Rights forums and town halls, so that they are informed about their rights. I have also stood by the Haitian community and advocated with them in calling for Trump to renew Haiti’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation. It’s also not a surprise that African Immigrants with TPS are facing the same issue.
Truth be told, it is no accident that Haiti, long before Trump, has been a target of those afraid of what Black pride and freedom looks like. As a Black man, I am forever reminded of what this small country of [enslaved Africans] was able to accomplish through determination and unity. I’m sure many said 210 years ago that a group of Black [enslaved Africans] could not overthrow one of the most powerful Western nations of that time, and yet that’s precisely what they did. As an American, I thank Haiti for doubling the size of the United States, which is only one of their many contributions to this country.
I urge everyone, Haitian and non-Haitian, to look back at was accomplished through perseverance, and let that serve as inspiration for what we can accomplish today in resisting against Trump’s version of America.
Haiti’s national slogan proudly proclaims ‘L’Union Fait La Force,’ which means in unity there is strength. Let their message of unity be a reminder for us all to work together towards a common goal.
Map toujou kanpe avèk frè a sè Ayisyen mwen (I will always stand with my Haitian brothers and sisters).
New York City Councilmember Jumaane D. Williams represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn.