Yvania Muscadum : France as Test 2022

Izieu As Text

Maison d’Izieu where 44 children and 7 adults where deported by Nazis soldiers April 6, 1944. Photo by Yvania Muscadum CC 4.0

“When Tomorrow comes…”

By Yvania Muscadum of FIU in France, 12, July 2022

As the sun rises, the birds sing the morning song, I knew it was a new day. A day closer to tomorrow.  When tomorrow comes, I’ll be able to see maman and papa.  When tomorrow comes, my sisters and brothers will sit together again and eat dinner.  When tomorrow comes, my grandma will tell her story for the hundredth time. When tomorrow comes, we will have birthdays and more. When tomorrow comes the war will be over. 

I made friends today. They left their homes, their families and await for tomorrow.  We usually eat together but separate during class time. I will work hard to show maman how smart I am. I love drawing, maybe I can show them to my parents.  When tomorrow comes, I’ll tell my dad about my friends.  when tomorrow comes, I’ll write a letter to maman wishing her a happy birthday. When tomorrow comes, I’ll thank my dad for the socks.  When tomorrow comes I’ll see them again. 

I wish my parents could be here as well and enjoy this beautiful place. It becomes my comfort. As hard as it was parting with my parents . This house becomes my second home.  When tomorrow comes, I’ll receive thousands of kisses from my parents.  When tomorrow comes, it will be a new day. 

As I wait for the sun to shine and the bird to sing. I see the enemy vehicles approaching. No place to hide nor to run but hope tomorrow they will disappear Today, I wish I could sing with my dad one last time Today, I want to remember all the good stories my grandma told me about the world Today, I will keep smiling remember how happy I was yesterday  I wish the world was not cruel for  As the sun set today would of rise a new day 

I knew the moment the bad guys showed up. I won’t live to see tomorrow  I wish I could say goodbye to my families  But I know  When tomorrow comes, I’ll be remembered forever 

Lyon as Text

A thin line between love and hate

By Yvania Muscadum of FIU in Lyon, France 12, july 2022

As I walked between the halls of Montluc I found myself submerge in hatred. When I saw how those people where treated made me question humanity. No human being deserves to be mistreated or even categorized as object or numbers. It hurts to hear that people were put behind those doors for being born as a Jews or for standing up against the Nazis. The hatred inside me build a courage to fight back against racism. Violence!!!!

Violence it rhymes with balance                                                                                                    The more you fight, it becomes a challenge                                                                            People might see it as brutality, cruelty                                                                                     but it’s  nothing more than chivalry                                                                                             it teaches humanity morals and respect                                                                                   it is force upon us but we do it to protect                                                                                   it is an ongoing battle                                                                                                                      we must prepare to tackle                                                                                                                 as hatred fill up our heart that thin line becomes  a scar                                                   something we can’t erase so we must fight so it becomes our victory should I say Victoire Excuse my French but it’s the same treatment                          you see blood but we see statement 

I was enraged and asked what happened to justice. I questioned many decisions made towards this event. How can we let something like this happen? However, many supported the idea and even helped. Some people felt whatever Hitler was doing was the norms. They did not  allow it to happen because they were scared but because they wanted it to happen. Did the Jews people ever have any resentment for those people? How were they able to face the world? So many questions were circulating in my head, I felt ashamed of the world. 

In the afternoon I was able to meet one of the survivors, Claude Block. An amazing man who’s not ashamed to tell his story. This man talked about the injustice caused by the Nazis to many generations. He still finds the heart to leave the past behind and live a happy life in this world.  After listening to his testimony, his bravery calms my anger. It made me understand that sometimes the best revenge is to live happily and leave the past behind. The past should be history for a better future.

Paris as Test

My love, My tragedy

by Yvania Muscadum, Paris France, 15, July 2020

As I look from a distance, I can see his mesmerizing beauty that captivates my heart. I hear many stories but being able to see him is more than just a work of art. He smells like a cup of coffee, a garden of flowers bathing in the sun. His voice is music to my ears, that makes my body strung. It was love at first sight.

The closer I got to him, the more interesting he was. His people are sweet like honey. Their eyes filled with history. Their good morning is a trap to kindness.

Bonjour Paris! My heart is full of love and I can’t get enough of your story. The amazing food, the ambiance, and your people makes it feel like family. You made me see the world differently. You open my eyes on nudity, which is more than sex. Now I appreciate a woman’s body because it represents humanity.

Oh Paris, your language caresses my tongue and your culture embraces my soul. Please do not stop telling me your story, just like a baby it becomes my lullaby. Paris, a romantic guy please let my fantasy run wild just like the lady and the unicorn 

I am getting a feeling I can not describe 

Would you accept me, Paris?

Would you accept my golden skin kissed by the sun 

Well you said no to slavery But then again you conquer my country 

Would I be able to continue to love you Paris? You showed me the real you and it’s heartbreaking 

You let women suffer in your eyes Without helping them you just push them aside

Would I still be able to love you Paris? You deceived my people We are doubled in debt 

And your reaction showed me you don’t care 

Haiti my motherland suffers when Napoleon decided to establish slavery in many French colonies 

I can not forget the past when our history goes way back 

I can not love you for my people still suffering 

Oh Paris! my love my tragedy

Going to the metro and exploring Paris have taught me many things. Even though I felt anger when I think of my own history with France. But, I was able to visit museums, churches, and more. The two things that caught my eyes were the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. The Eiffel Tower is more than just a romantic place where you can see the city and drink a glass of Wine. The Eiffel Tower was interesting to me because of the names of the scientists that were engraved on it. It caught my attention when all the names were men. It’s really sad to see that women would was not recognized. They stepped on us and forgot we gave birth to them. We give birth to nations. We nurture our great leaders and yet they feel like our place is in the kitchen. However, I felt different when I went to the Louvre. I was grateful how Paris is really open to nudity. I am from a background where the woman’s body is more preserved and it’s a disgrace to society when women show their body. When I stood in front of a sculpture of a woman’s body. It makes me appreciate my own. Women are really insecure about their body, especially with society standards. Paris made me realized  that a woman’s body is art. 

Versailles as Test

Hypnotized by beauty 

by Yvania Muscadum of FIU, Versailles, France 15, July 2020

As I raised my eyes, the golden gates caught my attention then and there I was already captivated. Versaille was a simple hunting lodge where King Louis XIV and his father used to hunt. When King Louis XIV moved the government of France to Versailles in 1682, the sole purpose was for safety. It goes back to his own experience with the mob as a child. It is amazing to see that King Louis XIV did not hide in between the four walls but instead create a whole universe. 

I raised my foot and took a deep breath, I was imported to a different world. A world King Louis XIV created and owned by him only. I could not stop my eyes from exploring. Versailles is like a spiral, the more I look the deeper I am engulfed by its beauty. It felt like I was a queen. I was becoming addicted to Versailles, I wanted more, I wanted to satisfy my enthusiasm. My curiosity got me trapped in the mirror room. Looking at my reflection, I understood why King Louis XIV created this paradise. Every room tells its own story. The amazing design captivated my soul and all I saw was beauty. His concept is against my religion, The deities of sun, Apollo and seen as a creator. But the garden as well as the fountains were pulling me deeper and I was enjoying every inch of it. I was hypnotized by its beauty.

I needed  to snap back to reality. In order for King Louis XIV to create this beautiful world, many suffered. People in the streets of France were starving as the king was building this palace. I can not let its beauty blind me to not recognize the injustice committed by the King. But it’s the most magical place I have ever seen. I am fighting my desires to not submerge in this beauty and recognize that I am walking in a place built on blood. Behind each wall hide the blood of many who suffer. I can not sympathize with them because I am hypnotized by its beauty. 

reference: Baillys’Lectures

Normandy as Text

Definition of a strong Black Woman

By Yvania Muscadum, Normandy, France 26, july, 2022

Objects they said
Breeders they said 
Negroes they said 
That’s how they labeled us 
Our hairs too nappy 
Our bodies too hefty
Our skins too chocolaty 
That’s how they degraded us 
Their definitions of us engraved in our ancestor’s heart, 
Made us seem like an unfinished art
In their eyes we are less than human 
But Mary Bankston is the definition of a strong black woman
Not an object to be used 
Not a breeder to be abused 
Not a negro to be accused
Her hair, defying gravity,
Her body, embodies royalty, 
Her skin, that is the definition of Divinity 
Her bravery is my liberation 
Her determination is my passion
Her will to fight for freedom became my inspiration 
Leaving behind her family
To fight for her country 
She held no gun 
Yet she had pride 
Distributing those letters like her life depended on them 
Why you ask?
That’s her way to fight back 
Her sacrifice as important as those that died
She was segregated 
Even humiliated 
But her efforts distributing those packages to the soldiers 
That is courage 
Filled with rage 
Working in a cage
With minimum break
But she never gives up 
Because she wanted to prove a point
That color does not define us 
We are the epitome of freedom 
And that is the definition of a strong black woman
You were a fighter 
A survivor 
The letters you dispersed 
Every risk you took demonstrated your strength 
I don’t know how many people would have taken your place
I myself would not have the courage to do this 
You fought for a country that fought for others rights but not yours 
This act of selflessness described how compassionate you are
Having hope that one day the favor would return
Know Mary Bankston that your death was not in vain 
The smile you put in those soldiers faces 
Gave them strength to continue the war 
By making a way to stay connected with their loved ones
And today I can’t think of anything else than thank you 
You gave those soldiers hope 
Reminding them what they are fighting for
Thank you for showing me that we are worth more than what they said
At first I was enraged 
Thinking maybe you were forced into it
Then I realized that maybe it was the choice you made 
So today I can stand in front on my peers 
And say :
This is the definition of a strong black woman

Mary H Bankston 

Maybe 23 or 24 years old, from New York City. She was a Private First class of the women’s Corp, 6888 Central Postal Directory Battalion 
She died in Rouen, France July 8th, 1945 in a car accident. The 6888 Central Postal Directory Battalion usually referred to as the six triple eight, which was the only all African-American women’s corp unit, who was able to go to Europe during WWII. There Were about 850 women in this corp. These women worked in extreme conditions to distribute thousands to millions of letters and other packages to soldiers. They were given 6 months to finish any mail in the warehouse since D-Day, and they were able to finish in 3 months. With little information like addresses or soldiers with the same last name. They find ways to deliver those mails. Their slogan is “ No mail, low Morale,” these ladies were so amazing that they would even fix packages that were eaten by rats.

During my research about Mary Bankston, I was filled with rage. I had little information about her life before the war. I started thinking that she was not as important as the others that died for our freedom. So I took some time to  think about how she probably lived her life. Not only was she a woman, she was a black woman. This statement made me understand that she did not have it easy. As a black woman myself I wanted not only to thank her but to show her my appreciation. As a 23  years old Haitian girl, I have encountered  many prejudices as well as racism from society. I understand that nothing has changed, just time. I wanted to showcase my personal connection with Mary Bankston through this poem. Society had and still has a bad definition of us. They see us strong because some of us are single parents, we fight through pain, or bring the best out of a bad situation. I wanted to escape the prison that society put us in. To do so, I had to understand why Mary Bankston died,and her death made me understand why we are strong. 

“6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion.” The Campaign for the National Museum of the United States Army, https://armyhistory.org/6888th-central-postal-directory-battalion/. 

“Home / USA / Women of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion.” 6888th, https://www.womenofthe6888th.org/. 

“Mary H Bankston.” Mary H Bankston : Private First Class from New York, World War II    Casualty, https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=92243. 

“‘No Mail, Low Morale’: The Importance of the 6888th Central Postal Directory.” American     Battle Monuments Commission, 22 Feb. 2022, https://www.abmc.gov/news-events/news/no-mail-low-morale-importance-6888th-central-postal-directory. 

“The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion.” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, https://www.nps.gov/mamc/the-6888th-central-postal-directory-battalion.htm. 

Père Lachaise as Text

Jean Baptiste Poquelin  was born in Paris January 15, 1622. He was a son of an upholsterer (tapissier). His father was one of the appointed tapissier for the royal family. Poquelin, decided to leave behind the family legacy and pursue his dream in Theater. In 1943, he created  Illustre-Théâtre, a company for comedy plays. He created this stage to showcase his views on society and how his life had inspired him. In that stage he named himself Moliere, and many believe it is in homage to the novelist François de Molière d’Essertines, who was assassinated in 1624. Moliere wrote many plays, some were even  performed at Versailles in front of king Louis XIV. Moliere was recognized by the king’s brother and even performed at the Louvre for the first time in 1658, The doctor in Love, in front of the young King Louis XIV. He even performed at the château Chambord Le bourgeois gentilhomme which was the premier of his celebrated comedy. Moliere portrayed himself in all of his plays as a bad-tempered character. The amazing thing I love about him is that he was open to playing different characters such as a servant, a foolish bourgeois, etc…

Because of his charismatic personality, he was able to take every day life events and turn into animating playwrights. He wrote about 31 plays out of 81 he performed. He was pressured by the authorities especially when he performed in front of the king l’école des femmes, which the royal court criticized as plagiarism and even said it was imorale. To counterattack those critics, Molière wrote another play to save his reputation. The play is basically how others criticize his work.The most scandalous plays he ever wrote in history is the tartuffe as well as the Dom of Juan. He died in February 17, 1973 after his last performance of the imaginary invalid were he collapse on stage 

As I spent time getting to know this man. I realized how courageous he was. Not only did he not follow his father’s footsteps, he chose a different path that was not easy. For the past three years, I have been struggling with my career. I grew up in a culture where it’s highly demanding for everyone to be either a doctor or a nurse. Three years ago, I decided to change my career path. It is not an easy journey. I struggle to even tell my family that I changed my major. I struggle to tell my friends I want to do something else. I was not confident. I don’t know how to explain to them why I changed my major and if it even brings a good future. However, as I read about Moliere, I became confident. He suffers and has many failures but he never gives up. Because of his determination, he became the most important person in France. I probably do not have a way to explain to my family and friends why I changed my major, nor the purpose. I know one day I will be helpful to society just like Moliere is today. 


                    Crazy but not insane 

Oh you’re here already 
Have you ever wondering what’s on the other side 
Why the sun rises 
I mean sometimes it gets super hot but we never get burn 
Oh sorry I probably talk to much 
How am I feeling? 
My life is more than this 
For my own good 
You can’t break my wings and make me believe it’s for my own good
So because I don’t want to follow everyone footsteps I am crazy 
They probably did not have a choice or maybe they were scared
It’s a cursed 
My grandmother was, my mother is and I have to be
I need to get out of here 
This this place will make me go insane 
To many things in my head 
You don’t understand 
Don’t you dare say I am crazy 
No no no I am not 
I just see a different future
Where I can be whoever I want to be 
If that’s what you call crazy then I am 
I see more than just a kitchen 
Pretty dress or whatever you call beauty 
You have to listen, this brain of mine contains more knowledge then them 
I can be a scientist, an astronauts, I can even fly an airplane or do numbers 
I don’t even know why I am wasting my time talking to you
You will never understand 
Stop saying that I am crazy 
I can’t fly high if you never set me free
They are far from a dream 
It’s reality 
Oh you’re here
Don’t worry 
Tomorrow I’ll rise just like the sun 





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