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Countdown 6 to February 14th

February 9, 2016


To My Purpose Driven Free Thinkers aka PDFTs! May this month exceed your expectations! As we all know February is Black History Month. I don't know if you study or research Black people who significantly contributed to the Black experience during this month but personally, I don't need a month to tell me it's okay to be Black, speak on Black, or act Black. I'm always Black minded but for y'all who do celebrate Blackness on this month, do it big! As you know (or maybe don't) my book will be dropping on February 14th aka Valentines Day. It'll be available on this website on the STORE page for purchase. If you want to know the synopsis of MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD go to the Book page on this website. Also, you can check out my youtube channel VIEIS_ME to get more in-depth with my story. I'll add the link below this blog post to the video. And if all that doesn't quench your thirst for MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD, follow my IG for past and future Daily Snippets from my book. They'll always be available but after February 14th, I won't be making any new Daily Snippets from MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkyyjXJIiYU


***EDIT I will be making daily vlogs for the countdown to MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD, ending on Valentines Day! You can check them out on my Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Here's the eighth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRdtYwn0hVQ


I'll be honoring Marie-Claire Heureuse Félicité Bonheur who was born in 1758 and died on August 8th, 1858. She was the Empress of Haiti from 1804 to 1806 as the wife of Honorable Jean-Jacques Dessalines. Marie-Claire was born in Léogane to a poverty stricken yet free Black family, she was the daughter of Guillaume Bonheur and Marie-Élisabeth Sainte-Lobelot. Her aunt Elise Lobelot took on the role to educate her.


While the siege of Jacmel in 1800, Marie-Claire established herself as a compassionate figure who helped the wounded and starving. She convinced Dessalines, who was one the main people blockading the city to keep it at a standstill to allow a few roads in the city to open up so that the wounded could receive help. After getting the approval, She led a march of women and children with food, clothes and medicine back to Jacmel, and then organized the food to be cooked on the streets.


On April 2, 1800, she married Jean-Jacques Dessalines after developing a long-term relationship with him, together they had seven children. Their children in order of birth:


Princess Marie Françoise Célimène Dessalines born in Saint-Marc on October 2, 1789 and died in 1859. She never got married but had a daughter with Captain Bernard Chancy. Albert Dessalines, he died very young in fact before 1804. They had a set of fraternal twins Prince Jacques Bien Aimé Dessalines and Princess Célestine Dessalines. Prince Jacques Bien Aimé Dessalines was born in Saint-Marc on April 2, 1793 and died in 1832. He also never married, but had one daughter by Adélaïde Appolon. Princess Célestine Dessalines was born in Saint-Marc April 2, 1793 and died on August 10, 1867. She married at Cap-Henry on April 10, 1817 to Pierre Daux. Princess Jeanne Sophie Dessalines born on January 20, 1799 and died August 10, 1867. She was married to N. Cazenave. Louis Dessalines also died very young before 1804. And the last child, Princess Serrine Dessalines.

Marie-Claire had a highly respected reputation of being respectful, merciful, transparent with elegancy and friendliness. She was the antithesis of her husband because she was indiscriminate with support, tolerance, and kindness to people of different races. She opposed Dessaline's policy in dealing with the white French people of Haiti; she went against his wishes when they were taken as prisoners, where she didn't hesitate to take care of them knowing her husband's anger. She attempted to save many of them from the 1804 Haitian Massacre that her husband directed. She cared so much about their lives that she begged Dessalines on her knees to spare them, but she really went out her way to hide Descourtilz, she hid him under her bed to save his life. In 1804, she was made Empress of Haiti and her husband Dessalines was made Emperor, this was the beginning of the Haitian monarchy. They were crowned at the Church of Champ-de-Mars on October 8, 1804. She accepted the status of Empress for two years.


After the murder of Jean-Jacque Dessalines in 1806, she denied the offer from Henry Christophe (one of the murders of her husband) to move in with his family. As a widow, she had bestowed the titled Princess Dowager (a title that means widower of a king or emperor) on October 17, 1806. She lived in poverty in Saint-Marc as the property of her deceased husband was confiscated until August 1843 when she was given a meager pension of 1,200 gourdes (Haitian currency).


In 1849, when Faustin I of Haiti became Emperor, he increased Marie-Claire's pension as a part of his admiration for her late husband Jean-Jacque Dessalines. Marie-Claire wasn't moved by his action and declined the money, instead, she moved in with her granddaughter and spent the remainder of her life in poverty until she died in Gonaïves 1858.


In her honor, the Foundation Marie-Claire Heureuse Félicité Bonheur Dessalines, that also goes by the name Fondasyon Félicité (FF), was established by Dr. Bayyinah Belloin 1999 to take on humanitarian, social and educational work in Haiti. Immediately after the destructive 2010 Haiti earthquake, the non-profit organization Friends of Fondation Félicité was established to support FF in helping Haitians rebuild Haiti. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie-Claire_Heureuse_F%C3%A9licit%C3%A9 

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