A Controversial Street Co-Naming in Little Haiti?

Posthumous painting of Jean-Jacques Dessalines (Creative Commons license)

The City Council approved on Wednesday a proposal from Jumaane D. Williams that co-names Rogers Avenue, between Farragut Road and Eastern Parkway, for Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who led the Haitian Revolution and served as the first leader of the country once it won independence from France in 1804. The street is located within the recently established Little Haiti Business and Cultural District in Flatbush.

But is Dessalines a “hero – or mass murderer?” asks a Brooklyn Daily Eagle headline.

Reporter Mary Frost writes that Bichotte, whom Williams credited for calling for the co-naming, described Dessalines as “one of the greatest heroes of the modern world.”

“Jean-Jacques Dessalines’ remarkable leadership impacted countries around the world in gaining their independence,” she said in a statement.

The reporter noted that out of fear the French would take over again and bring back slavery, Dessalines ordered his army to kill almost every French citizen on the island – which led to the death of thousands.

How did Williams respond to the criticism? Find out at Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

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