Download Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle-Class American by Jean-Robert Cadet PDF

By Jean-Robert Cadet

African slaves in Haiti emancipated themselves from French rule in 1804 and created the 1st self reliant black republic within the Western Hemisphere. yet they reinstituted slavery for the main weak participants of Haitian society—the teenagers of the poor—by utilizing them as unpaid servants to the rich. those youngsters were—and nonetheless are—restavecs, a French time period whose literal which means of "staying with" disguises the unremitting hard work, abuse, and denial of schooling that characterizes the kid's lives. during this memoir, Jean-Robert Cadet recounts the harrowing tale of his formative years as a restavec, in addition to his inspiring climb to middle-class American lifestyles. He vividly describes what it was once wish to be an undesirable illegitimate baby "staying with" a well-to-do kin whose actual and emotional abuse used to be sanctioned through Haitian society. He additionally info his next existence within the usa, the place, regardless of American racism, he placed himself via university and located luck within the military, in enterprise, and eventually in instructing.

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Extra info for Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle-Class American

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I want you to tell me something,” said Paul. ” I asked. ” he asked. I thought about the question for a moment. “Non,” I said. Paul took the ball from my hands. “I promise that I won’t tell her if you tell me the truth,” he said, giving the ball back to me. “Oui,” I whispered. ” he asked. “One,” I answered. ” he asked. “Sunday night,” I replied. ” he asked. “Oui,” I answered. “Good boy,” he said, patting my head. “Come with me,” he said, leading me to Florence’s bedroom. Paul took off all his clothes and began to masturbate.

She changed into her work clothes and Lise handed her a pile of lingerie to wash. She had been Lise’s restavec and now she came to continue her old chores. She was not introduced to either me or the cook. Her instructions came only from Lise. She prepared Lise’s bath and assisted her in the bathroom. She, like myself, spoke only when spoken to. I learned her name when she was called to perform a chore. “Anita,” called Lise. “Plaît-il [if it pleases you], Madame,” she answered quickly. As she scrubbed the laundry next to the rock pile, I went into the bathroom and searched her cardboard box.

01-T5823 12/12/06 12:05 PM Page 28 28 JEAN-ROBERT C ADET I stood before her trembling with fear. She walked away and went outside to join Florence. I held the spoon, full of ice cream, unable to decide what to do with it. “Bobby,” yelled Florence. I quickly opened the freezer and put back the ice cream. “Plaît-il,” I answered, running out before she called my name a second time. I stood before Florence, still shaken. “Go put on your shoes. I want to send you to the store,” she said. I breathed a sigh of relief.

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