First Haitian-American Female Comes to Congress, Ludmya Bourdeau

The Caribbean bloodline has been tested by a history of enslavement, proven to be resilient and spirited, never giving into defeat and always hoping for a better tomorrow. Here are examples of Caribbean-Americans, who have made their imprint on the American consciousness.


Haitian-American Ludmya Bourdeau recreated herself by adopting a Utah town as her legal residence, joining the Mormon Church, and running for mayor under the name Mia Love as a Republican, and winning. This month she became the first black and Haitian-American woman to win a Republican Congress seat in the general elections. She stands on the shoulders of Toussaint Louverture, who became leader of the first black-led nation in the world in 1804.

woman and Caribbean-American Shirley Chisholm broke historic ground in 1968 when she won her seat. She ran for president in 1972, the first woman and woman of color to do so ". . . to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo."

Bahamian-born Sidney Poitier made his mark as the first black actor to win in the best actor category for Lilies of the Field in 1963. His on-screen fierceness, intensity, and dignity made him a harbinger for the civil rights era to follow.

Poitier joined with Jamaican-Martiniquan/Singer-Actor Harry Belafonte to provide financial support to Martin Luther King's crusade for civil rights.

African- and Caribbean-American Malcolm X was an exponent of black power, more inclined to use violence for black empowerment than King's peace tactics.

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