Haitian Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area
The presence of Haitians in the San Francisco Bay Area is represented by a very small community, nevertheless, the traditional and artistic practice of Haitian dance, drumming, singing, and storytelling is qualitatively represented by master artists such as Florencia Pierre and Daniel Brevil. ACTA is honored to support, through its Apprenticeship Program, the work of these two artists who are wholeheartedly willing to share and expose their traditions to all the sectors of the Bay Area and to the larger society in general. Both artists and their apprentices, Djenane St. Juste (the daughter and apprentice of Florencia) and Kendrick Freeman (Daniel’s apprentice), are highly concerned with presenting Haitian traditions with the utmost quality and dignity, especially to disrupt the popular imaginary of Haitian people in the United States. Misunderstood ideas of the religious practice of Vodou, for example, promoted in movies and shows such as Miami Vice dominate the minds of US mainstream. Florencia and Daniel provide a much more in-depth understanding of religious, social, and cultural practice of Haitian people through preserving and innovating the cultural performance of Haiti.
See Florencia and Djenane in the public sharing of their apprenticeship in Krik-Krak, an evening of storytelling from the village of Lagonave, Haiti.