For my second Messina event, I went to a lecture called ‘Dessalines, Napoleon, and the Making of Haiti and the United States’ presented by Dr. Laurent Dubois from Duke University.

The presentation was about the history of Haiti and aimed to educate the audience on the culture and historical milestones of the country as well as where the country is at today. Before the lecture, I didn’t know much about Haiti as a country and I only knew generally of Napoleon as a ruler and conquerer. I learned that Haiti is one of the only nations founded by former slaves. The slaves were emancipated, but soon Napoleon wanted to enslave them again. They put up a great resistance to his army and began ruling Haiti themselves.

Before this presentation, I hardly knew a thing about Haiti besides what I heard when there was a devastating earthquake their a few years ago. I now have a much better sense of the rich history of Haiti and a better knowledge of how Haiti influences places in the US today like New Orleans. Overall, I really enjoyed the lecture and learned a lot from it.