On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, Leogane, and other parts of Haiti. The day after this catastrophe, Reverend Pat Robertson, the host of the 700 Club and an influential voice in the American fundamentalist movement, remarked that centuries ago Haiti swore a pact to the Devil in order to gain their freedom from slavery under the French. … Despite the humanitarian efforts of his charitable organization currently assisting Haitians with earthquake relief, Robertson’s remarks strike many as callous and racist. But missing in some of the responses to those remarks in the midst of this unimaginable tragedy, which include condemnations and historical essays, is an important reality of the contemporary Haitian religious landscape which has been neglected thus far and bears analysis: some Haitians (Haitian Protestants, in particular) also believe that Haiti is cursed.Read the rest of Haiti’s pact with the devil? (Some Haitians believe this too).
Bertin M. Louis, Jr.
Bertin M. Louis, Jr. is a cultural anthropologist who received his PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology in 2008 from the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in Saint Louis, where he was a Chancellor’s Fellow and a Lynne Cooper Harvey Fellow. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies in the Africana Studies Program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His published work appears in several peer-reviewed journals (The Journal of African American Studies, Transforming Anthropology), the Greenwood Press publication The Encyclopedia of Multicultural America (Forthcoming 2010) and the Journal of Haitian Studies (Forthcoming 2010).