Florida Senate - 2015                            (NP)    SR 1604
       By Senator Thompson
       12-01790-15                                           20151604__
    1                          Senate Resolution                        
    2         A resolution recognizing January 2015 as “Haitian
    3         Independence Month” in Florida.
    5         WHEREAS, located in the West Indies on the western third of
    6  the Island of Hispaniola, Haiti lies between Cuba and Puerto
    7  Rico in the Caribbean Sea, and
    8         WHEREAS, the island was first inhabited by native tribes,
    9  the Arawak, Taíno, and Caraibe, and in 1492 was claimed by
   10  Christopher Columbus for Spain, which later ceded the western
   11  third of the island to France, and
   12         WHEREAS, after the French Revolution in 1789, and under the
   13  leadership of Generals Toussaint L’Ouverture, Dessalines, and
   14  Pétion, slaves revolted against the oppressive slavery regime,
   15  and
   16         WHEREAS, on January 1, 1804, the Republic of Haiti declared
   17  its independence and became the first, and only, state to be
   18  created from a successful slave rebellion, and
   19         WHEREAS, Haiti was the first independent nation in Latin
   20  America and the first post-colonial independent nation led by
   21  blacks in the world, and
   22         WHEREAS, by declaring independence, Haiti became the second
   23  independent state in the Western Hemisphere, joining only the
   24  United States in this unique and exemplary distinction, and
   25         WHEREAS, Haiti and the United States share a history of
   26  freedom and belief in human rights, and
   27         WHEREAS, on May 20, 1805, Haiti ratified its first
   28  constitution, strengthening national unity and bringing together
   29  the country’s various factions and peoples by reaffirming the
   30  permanent abolition of slavery and the freedom and equality of
   31  all Haitians, and
   32         WHEREAS, Haitians and Haitian Americans have played an
   33  important role in the history of the Americas as educators,
   34  leaders, activists, and artists, and
   35         WHEREAS, many famous and inspirational Haitians and Haitian
   36  Americans have left their indelible mark on this state, country,
   37  and the world, including icons such as Jean Baptiste Point du
   38  Sable, founder of the City of Chicago; civil rights activist
   39  W.E.B. Du Bois; State Representative Yolly Roberson; City of
   40  North Miami Mayor Smith Joseph; National Football League player
   41  Pierre Garҫon; author and candidate for the Nobel Prize for
   42  Literature in 2009, Frankétienne; and Tony Award-winning actress
   43  and singer Nikki M. James, and
   44         WHEREAS, Florida is home to nearly half a million Haitian
   45  Americans who improve our communities with a wealth of talent
   46  and achievement and strive, through their diversity and culture,
   47  to exemplify the meaning of freedom and democracy, and
   48         WHEREAS, Little Haiti, in the City of Miami, is a symbol of
   49  the undeniable relationship between this state and the Republic
   50  of Haiti, and
   51         WHEREAS, the richness and complexness of Haiti’s resilient
   52  culture and people transformed the island into an exceptional
   53  nation that has continued to profoundly impact the world since
   54  Christopher Columbus set foot on its shores more than 500 years
   55  ago, NOW, THEREFORE,
   57  Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida:
   59         That January 2015 is recognized as “Haitian Independence
   60  Month” in Florida, and the citizens of Haiti and Haitian
   61  Americans are encouraged to observe this month with celebrations
   62  and joy.