On November 15 at 7 pm at the Hyatt Hotel in Medford Square, there is a celebration for the new website of Haitian stories and culture. This website was created by Sharon Kennedy and the Medford Transcript with a grant from Medford Health Matters. The link is http://wickedlocal.com/medford/hatitian. The website is full of Haitian culture from Haitian- Americans who live in Medford, Malden, Everett, and Melrose. On the site, there are oral histories including “Coming to America” stories and true tales of life in Medford and Melrose, traditional folktales, music, poems, photos, and paintings.
In partnership with Medford Arts Center, Inc., the November 15 evening of celebration will highlight a performance by amazing fourteen year old singer, Rebecca Zama, and the storytelling and poetry of Charlot Lucien. Mr. Lucien is the founder and director of the Haitian Artists Assembly of Massachusetts. He a poet with a new book just published, as well as a painter, so some of his paintings will be on view. William Descilien, another great Haitian-American painter, will also be celebrating with us and his paintings will be displayed as well. During the whole month of November the paintings of Lucien and Descilien will be shown at two galleries in Medford Square: Mystic Coffee Roasters and Mystic Art Gallery.
Other special guests at the Friday night celebration are Nunotte Zama, mother of Rebecca, and a lawyer who lives in Melrose and teaches at Roxbury Community College. She is featured on the website talking about her native village (L’Asile) in Haiti and how Mayor Dolan and the city of Melrose has donated soccer balls to the team in L’Asile which usually had to make do with water bottles. Henry and Evelyne Milorin are two more people from Medford who will be in attendance that evening. They can be found on the website talking about “the three P’s – persistence, politeness, and persuasion” – the qualities they needed as immigrants and the qualities they needed even more as a the parents of an autistic child. The Milorins are
heroes within the disability community and both of them have been honored with numerous awards including the ARC of Massachusetts Distinguished Citizen’s award. Henry is also known for his work on political campaigns over the last thirty years.
Grammy-nominated storyteller Sharon Kennedy will do a power point presentation of highlights from the website and she will act out one of the “Coming To America” stories she collected. Nell Escobar Coakley and Nick Iovino, editors at the Medford Transcript, will be honored for their creative ideas and their hard work over the last year, and Elysee Castor of Medford Housing Authority for his crucial role at the beginning of the project. We will also celebrate the work of interpreters Kettly Tucker and Josiane Bistoury, who were present at many of the interviews, translating them from Haitian
Creole to English.
For more information please call 781-393-7566 or email sharon @sharonkennedy.com
- Submitted by Mike Oliver