Jacques Roumain, Famous Haitian writer

"I am this: this earth here, and I have it in my blood. Look at my color; it seems as though the earth faded onto me and onto you too."


Jacques Roumain, like many of history's other literary giants, lived a short life but managed to leave such brilliant words behind they would be spoken for centuries following his death. Through his poems he opened up a colorful, complex world that harkened to the struggles of his contemporaries and has given fodder for great new works by those he inspired and homage-paying re-enactments in the present.

Born to rich parents in 1907, his grandfather having been Haitian President Tancrède Auguste, Roumain spent his formative years being educated in first the capital, and then in many countries in Europe including Switzerland, France and Spain. Influenced by the U.S. occupation of Haiti, he became an activist and later started the Haitian Communist Party.

His works in politics would lead to troubles with authority and he was soon exiled. He would eventually be able to return to Haiti after a governmental change, where he wrote his two powerful books 'Ebony Wood', and 'Masters of the Dew', but during his exile he met Langston Hughes and other popular writers of African descent, heavy influences on his later zealous writing style. He also did research with Columbia University.

During his life he was able to achieve an acclaim that few writers live to experience. While he died young, in August of 1944, of causes still unknown, at 37, he had already created a substantial legacy to leave behind.

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