Erasing Memory: The Miseducation of a Cardinal


Saving Vodou from Cardinal Langlois and Internalized Afrophobia

By Manbo Asogwe Dòwòti Désir

Originally posted on DDPA Watch Group:

Saving Vodou from Cardinal Langlois and Internalized Afrophobia

By Manbo Asogwe Dòwòti Désir

The drums of Vodou are used to call down the spirits, connecting congregants with the sacred vibrational energies of the universe. Photo: D. Désir

Roshmee Roshan Lall’s recent article in the Guardian, Voodoo Won’t Save Haiti, Says Cardinal, is so problematic on so many levels the temptation to ignore it is only outweighed by the number of people who have called it to my attention. They expect me to respond and so I shall. Lall’s expertise in international affairs is in business and economics so why the journalist is writing about religion even from a development perspective is my first question? Before I continue, it is imperative that one glaring observation be made: She misspells Vodou or has not made it clear to the Guardian’s editors that the orthographically correct spelling of the religion and discipline is…

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A letter to Christian Theologians, American Evangelicals, and Religious Scholars Concerning Jewish Violence and Human Rights Abuse

A letter to Christian Theologians, American Evangelicals, and Religious Scholars Concerning Jewish Violence and Human Rights Abuse

July 20, 2014

Dear Christian Theologians, American Evangelicals, and Religious Scholars,

We would like to know what you mean for the church to reconnect with Israel and its Jewish roots. Is this a Theo-political reconnection and project? or are you asking us to support Israel in all she does. If the latter expresses your request and intention, you are, in fact, asking us to support Israel’s program of massive violations of human rights, public segregation, mass murder and destruction of the Arabs, and on-going racism and racial violence toward the Palestinian people and African refugees in the promise land. If that is what your Bible and the God of Israel is urging YOU to do, we are not with you. KEEP YOUR GOD AND KEEP YOUR HOLY SCRIPTURES!

Your friend in the project for peace, justice, and democracy.

Viktwa sou Lesklavaj / Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond

Originally posted on Repeating Islands:


The exhibit “Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond” [Viktwa sou Lesklavaj: Ayiti e menm pi lwen pase sa], which honors the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, is still on view at the United Nations Headquarters Visitor Center in New York City until September 14, 2014. The exhibit is organized by the Memorial of Nantes, France; the architect Rodney Leon, designer of the Permanent Memorial: The Ark of Return, and the UN Department of Public Information (DPI). [See previous posts ‘Ark of Return’: Telling the stories of 15 million slaves in a UN permanent memorial and UN marks Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Slave Trade.]

Description: On March 25 every year since 2007, the UN marks the International Day to honour the more than 15 million men, women, and children who suffered and died during the more than 400-year transatlantic slave trade, the largest forced migration in…

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On Being an Intellectual!

What is an intellectual? What is the function of the intellectual in society and culture?

Here’s what I think about “on being an intellectual”!

An intellectual is both a cultural critic and a problem solver. He is also a visionary leader who critically analyzes the life condition of his people and that of others, and that which holds them captive. In the same vein, he assesses culture, ideologies, movements, and the world of ideas, and unearths the roots of oppression and injustice in society. He is burdened about injustice, inequality, and the presence of evil and oppression in his community and elsewhere in the world. One can say that an intellectual is also a cosmopolitan. The work of an intellectual should appeal not only to the mind but also to the heart. We might infer that the ultimate goal of an intellectual is to work collaboratively with others to create a just and democratic society toward the total emancipation of his people. The thrust of his work is to create promising future possibilities for the common good. In summary, the intellectual does the following things:

1) diagnose the problem;
2) critique the present condition;
3) foster change and transformation through deep thinking;
4) propose new solutions and come up with new plans, ideas, methods, strategies to alter the present Haitian reality.
5) create new future possibilities and foster a new vision of life and humanity.

Above all, the intellectual is a servant to his people and to humanity in general.

“Haiti: Then and Now”: Call for Contributors


“Haiti: Then and Now”

“Haiti: Then and Now” is an online venue and platform composing of writers, cultural critics, intellectuals, artists, poets, historians, philosophers, etc. The goal of “Haiti: Then and Now” is to engage and reflect critically  on the human condition–past and present– in Haiti and the Haitian experience in the Haitian Diaspora, by providing insightful  analysis and commentaries.

The task of our Contributors
Our contributors will write critical, interdisciplinary, and reflexive online blog posts, reflections, commentaries, and opinions; hence, they will comment on major or pressing issues affecting the everyday life of the Haitian people.

 Our Philosophy

The five-fold objectives that underscores the philosophy of “Haiti: Then and Now” are as follows:

1) diagnose the problem;
2) critique the present condition;
3) foster social change through deep thinking;
4) propose new solutions and come up with new plans, ideas, methods, strategies to alter the present Haitian reality.
5) create new future possibilities and foster a new vision of life and humanity.

If you are interested, send us a brief bio and an amazing picture of yourself so we can post on our website. Drop us an email

Blog posts are welcome in English, French, Creole, Spanish, and any other human language.

Our website:

* One does not have to be an Haitian to be a contributor or join the team; however, we do ask that you are familiar with or at least interested in the Haitian narrative and the Haitian experience, both in Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora.


Important Note to the Vodou Anthology Contributors!

Important Note to the Vodou Anthology Contributors!.

Important Note to the Vodou Anthology Contributors!

Dear Contributors,

We are pleased to inform you that your chapter abstract for the anthology entitled Vodou: I Remember: The Idea of Vodou in Haitian Thought, Literature, Music, and Art edited by Drs. Celucien L. Joseph, Asselin Charles, Shallum Pierre, and Nixon S. Cleophat has been accepted. Please be advised of the following instructions:


1. Vodou Spelling

The spelling “Voodoo” or “Voodooism” has been changed to “Vodou” by the Library of Congress. Vodou is the most accurate spelling designating the religion practiced by most Haitians.  Please be consistent in the usage of the term.

Note below:


PSD was petitioned by a group of scholars and practitioners of vodou to change the spelling of the heading Voodooism. They successfully argued that vodou is the more accurate spelling, and that the spelling “voodoo” has become pejorative. The base heading was revised to Vodou on this list, and all other uses of the word “voodoo” in references and scope notes have also been revised.”



2. Manuscripts and Style Guide

Manuscripts must be computer generated in Microsoft Word and submitted electronically via e-mail to or All manuscripts must include an abstract, be edited carefully before submission, and double-spaced. Manuscripts must conform to guidelines published in The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition).

Articles are limited to a maximum of 30 pages of text including references. Personal narratives or essays are limited to 10 pages.

Please use endnote and provide a Bibliography for all references used in the text.


3. Double-Blind Peer Review

All book chapter submissions deemed appropriate for the anthology (Vodou: I Remember) are sent out for review under the double-blind system: the identity of participants is not disclosed to referees who serve as editors of the anthology.  All manuscripts are reviewed by all members of the editorial team and only those submissions that meet the editorial standards of the anthology and fit within the philosophy and objectives of the project will be accepted.


4. Important Dates to Remember

October 24, 2014                            Chapter Submission Deadline

January 23, 2015                            Chapter Feedback to Authors

March 20, 2015                              Final Edited Submission Due


5. Website

We have created a web page for the Vodou anthology. Please do visit us for updates and further information.


Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me: Dr. Joseph ( or Dr. Cleophat (

We’re looking forward to collaborating with you and receiving your first draft by Friday, October 24, 2014.



Celucien L. Joseph, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of English

Indian River State College
Fort Pierce, Florida


Schallum Pierre, Ph.D.
Research- Associate
Chercheur affilié à la Chaire d’enseignement et de recherche La philosophie dans le monde actuel de l’Université Laval
Laval University/ Université Laval

Asselin Charles, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English and Literature
Director of Francophone Studies
Kwara State University
Ilorin, Nigeria

Nixon S. Cleophat, Ph.D.
Columbia University
New York, New York


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