Awaiting ‘Little Haiti’

Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte at the podium with Council member Jumaane Williams (front row, second from left). (Photo from Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte’s office via Bklyner)

While marking Haitian Flag Day on May 18, public officials – including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte and Council member Jumaane Williams – met at Newark and Nostrand avenues in Flatbush to announce that the Little Haiti Business and Cultural district is on its way, reports Bklyner’s Zainab Iqbal. They also unveiled a new sign for Toussaint L’Overture Blvd. along portions of Nostrand Avenue.

A bill that will come before the City Council, most likely in the summer, would designate an area roughly between Avenue H and Parkside Avenue, East 16th Street and Brooklyn Avenue as the Little Haiti Business and Cultural District.

“Little Haiti is an idea whose time has come. Brooklyn is the Port-au-Prince of America, and it’s time for the world to know and come experience all we have to offer,” Borough President Eric Adams said. “On this year’s Haitian Flag Day, we raise our voices to make Little Haiti an official designation in the heart of Flatbush.”

Flatbush has a high population of Haitians. As per 2013 statistics, Brooklyn has close to 50,000 Haitian-born residents, most clustered around Flatbush.

Bichotte, the first elected state legislator of Haitian descent from NYC, initiated the campaign for a Little Haiti (which has been described as controversial).

Go to Bklyner to find out how Little Italy provided a “blueprint of sorts” for Little Haiti, according to Bichotte, and what few are aware of when it comes to Haitians and the Revolutionary War.

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