Many people polled, agreed with her. Jean Louis-Francois, a resident of Broward County said, “Characters like these help to encourage young people. It gives them a sense of importance in a cultural sense. He explained, “It makes them want to emulate them because that’s a positive image. Because it’s in a book, it’ll always be a part of history.”
“I think strength epitomizes Haitians,” said Kirshner Baptiste, a resident of North Miami. “When you look at our rich and extensive history, strength is exuded by all are major historical figures. It’s best when Haitian writers communicate aspects of our culture in their writing because it helps to expose people to what they don’t know about our culture. It tells people our true history, and not just old myths and wise tales.”
Linsie Charlestin, a student majoring in nursing at Miami Dade College said, “Showcasing Haitian characters with strength unleashes the great and deep values within our noble heritage. Our heritage shows how we are all united through strength.”
So Spoke the Earth also dissects the strength of women within the Haitian community. Traits like resiliency, coping, and determination are explored set against themes of death, abandonment, and cultural celebration. "History is always his story, so as an organization for the advancement and perseveration of the woman's voice concerning Haiti, I see it as a duty," began Theodore-Pharel, to give female authors of Haitian descent a voice to share their stories. "Haiti is still very much a male driven society. Women's voices have been stifled for generations--albeit wrong--but that is the culture. Stories--whether from men or women--should be shared with the younger generations. It's a recording of the past," said Solages.
In their panel discussion the authors touched many topics within the Haitian literary community like the importance of giving women writers a platform, the lack of courses being taught in Creole globally, and a message in universality just to name a few.
But the women's most important message is for young writers. "The power of writing is that you never know how someone else will take it. I came across a quote recently by Khalil Gibran and it says, 'Work is love made visible.' I would like to change that and say, writing is life made visible and inspired," said Theodore-Pharel. As for Solages, her inspiration for So Spoke the Earth is simple, "I want it to inspire selfless, forward thinkers, she said.
So Spoke the Earth is available nationally and on Amazon.com. To learn more about their literacy efforts and campaign visit their website, KickStarter.com.