"The charge that the Haitians are ignorant is only partly true. They are naturally quick witted and have lively imaginations. The truth, however, is that the great mass of the Haitian people are illiterate. They are perhaps more illiterate than the people of any Latin-American country, but there is a specific reason for this. For a reason which I cannot explain, the French language in the French-American colonial settlements containing a Negro population divided itself into two branches—French and Creole. This is true of Louisiana, Martinique and Guadeloupe, and also of Haiti. The Creole is an Africanized French, and must not be thought of as a mere dialect. The French-speaking person cannot, with the exception of some words, understand Creole unless he learns it. Creole is a distinct language, a graphic and very expressive language, and in some respects, is, for Haiti, a language superior to French.
The upper Haitian classes, say approximately 500,000, speak French, while the masses, probably 2,000,000, speak Creole, and though Haitian Creole is grammatically constructed, it has not been generally, reduced to writing. Therefore, these 2,000,000 people have no way of communication through the written word. They have no books to read. They cannot read the newspapers. They cannot communicate with each other by writing. The children of the masses study French the few years they spend in school, but French never becomes their every-day language. In order for Haiti to abolish illiteracy and thereby reduce the ignorance of her masses, Creole must be made a written, as well as a spoken language for I feel that it is destined to remain the folk language of the country. This offers a fascinating task for the Haitian intellectuals. Before I left, I talked with a group of them concerning it..."
The Truth about Haiti: An NAACP Investigation
Yon dokiman vizyonè ki merite nou li li detanzantan, kit se pou kesyon sosyal, kit se pou kesyon politik Ayiti!