Jean Price-Mars a Haitian of Stellar Intellect

Jean Price-Mars, leading mind of the Black intelligentsia, assumed prominent roles in the Haitian government as a young person barely out of his teens. The government delegated him Ambassador of Haiti to France, Germany, the Dominican Republic, and U.S. His scientific aptitude led him to study anthropology and medicine, his gift for analysis made him an academician.


Price-Mars worked as teacher, politician, and writer. During his political career, he served as Secretary of State, ran for the presidency, and represented his country as two-term senator. As thinker and writer, he advocated negritude, a pride in being black and the empowerment that meant.

He stood up as a champion of Voodoo. He made comparison of the hierarchy, practices, deistic forms, belief system, and spirituality of Voodoo parallel to other legitimate religions.

As social scientist, he challenged the mulatto elite, who repudiated their African lineage. He criticized their economic policies. Callously, they had placed heavy taxes on small coffee growers' exports. When exports dropped due to deforestation of farmland, the elite withdrew support.

Price-Mars found fault with their attitudes on public education. They defined their relationship with an uneducated populace as refiners of crude and anti-social behaviors. He pointed out education the way to refine them.

With further reflection, he re-adjusted his thinking about slavery. He now saw how the slave revolt was the result of Haitians' deep bond to social and religious roots. And that pride in that identity galvanized them to defeat the French to become the first Black-led republic in the world.

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