Yvania Muscadum: Declaration 2022

Was freedom for all or for some? 

The life of Pauline Leon

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Pauline Leon was one of six children of Mathrine Telohan, and Pierre-Paul Leon . Leon was born on September 28, 1768 in Paris. Leon’s  mother Telohan, and father Pierre-Paul Leon, were in the chocolate making business. After her father’s death in 1784, Leon supported her mother and provided for her siblings by working in the chocolate factory. Leon was known as a “Fille sans- culotte”  , a term used in France for the lower middle class. Due to Leon’s circumstances and the poor quality of life given by the Ancien Regime, she became a radical militant. In 1789, France’s economy was in crisis after the war which resulted in a bread riot. After witnessing the execution of  many leaders doing this riot, it sparked Leon’s interest in political advocacy. Leon wanted to fight for the revolution and bear arms regardless of how society views women. Her priority was to fight for the country regardless of gender. Leon understood that poverty knocks at everyone’s door and does not discriminate. Secondly, Leon became an advocate for women rights. She was an attendee at the Cordeliers club, established in 1790 accepted men and women and its role was to maintain human rights in France. In 1791, Leon addressed the legislative Assembly about female militia, demanding for Parisian women to be able to be part of it. Many saw Leon as a leader of the sans culottes. She was the co-founder of the Society of Revolutionary and Republican Women “Société des Citoyennes Républicaines Révolutionnaires” on May 10, 1793. She worked closely with Claire Lacombe and other women who shared the same values  to re-enforce gender equality. The Société only lasted about a year before it was shut down by the authorities. Her dedication and confidence showcase the similarity to the enragés known as “angry ones.” She married Théophile Leclerc, who himself was a radical and the founder of the enragés. Both Leon and her husband were accused of being too radical and going against the Jacobins and were arrested in April 1794 but were released three months later. 

Later, Leon focused on her marriage and devoted herself to her husband. With domestic care it causes her to step back from all radical activities. After she left political life, Leon became a school teacher. On october 5, 1838, Leon gave her last breath but her accomplish still breathing live to others.

The king is right, but your rights were taking away

France was a monarchy country ruled by a king. The king had power over both the government and the people. Before the revolution, France was divided into three social classes which were called “estates.” We had the clergy, who were the first estate. The clergy consisted of people who were religious leaders. They had control over some lands, churches, and establishments for the poor. The second estate was the nobles. Unlike the clergy, the nobles were not as popular but were exempted from tax just like the clergy. Both groups possessed lands and were appointed to higher positions. Last but not least, the third estate was the commoners. The largest of the three estates but hold little influence on the government. The third estate was categorized as the peasantry and the urban. Doing this era Louis XVI who took the throne. With the downfall of the economy due to the expenses during the American Revolution, the extravagant spending by the king. Out of all the three estates, the commoners were the one the most affected by the economic crisis. The country was on the brink of bankruptcy and King Louis XVI’s solution was not in the favor of the commoners. The commoners had to pay taxes, where the clergy and the nobles were exempt. Poverty started to eat the commoners where many were enjoying life. Their voices were taken away from the king and by the first, second estate. 

A brave woman open many eyes

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Pauline Leon who had a first class ticket to see and live through that poverty understood the people. She felt the pain not only because she could not fight for what she believed but her rights were being taken away from her. Women doing the French Revolution were shackled by society because of their perspective and how they see women. They had feelings but couldn’t express it. They were being attacked but could not fight back. They knew France was falling apart but could not talk since they had no voice. Leon was a brave woman who heard the country’s agony and the women’s sorrow. Her confidence and dedication strengthen her leadership and lead many to fight. Many would say she was violent but others saw a patriot fighting for her country. She saw what the king could not see and fought for what the authorities could not fight for. She knew what society holds against women. She was fearless and even bore arms for her country. At the Storming of Bastille, Leon marched and held a pike just like any other men. She was not belittling men, but she wanted to show women they could fight. 

Her actions was wrong but for a good cause

Léon participated in violent activities. She protested with others for human rights. As we usually hear “ it is not Ladylike,” women’s place is always in the kitchen and always follows the husband’s order . As women our husband became our mouth, ears, eyes, even thoughts. We were a living machine that the society can program however they can. Till today, many are still experiencing and living like these robots. I applaud her courage for taking actions for us women to give us a voice to fight. Many would disagree with action but few understand that action speaks louder than words. I would have described her actions as a mother protecting her children. Her passion was louder than a

 trumpet and greater than the mountains. Her dedication gave strength to many women and led them to victory. 

Women are human but not men

Reading human rights and seeing how women were excluded have angered me. I took the time to compare and contrast Leon’s and this time to see the difference. I haven’t seen any at all. Yes we have the right to vote, go to school, and do things we were not able to do. However, just like Leon knew women needed to bear arms to protect themself from the non revolutionaries. Women today need to be recognized for their works, effort and not taken for granted nor mistreated. I have encountered many stories where women complain about job, respect.  Jobs are abusing them and paying them less than men. As a woman I understand that some jobs will require men to work more and the income will be more. However, other jobs discriminate against women and their capacities. Women have encountered different issues and still leave with a burden. I have a hard time comprehending why society still puts a label on women. Is the little things unnoticed that will make a big difference. Why society has condemned us women for losing our so-called virginity, getting pregnant at an early age, and more. When in reality men are being honored for having two three girlfriends, impregnated multiple women. Ain’t we human? 

We need society to lock down 

She leads, she inspires, she is history  

I was born and raised in a country whom the French Revolution had a big impact on. Haiti, first black nation to abolish slavery. Leon not only inspired me as a woman but also inspired me to fight for my country. Doing my research, I was able to explore the major events in Leon’s life. From the famous march “the stormy of the Bastille,” and leader of the Société. However, she had no work published nor a deep focus on how she felt about the revolution. I was able to research how French society viewed her as a revolutionary. She was an activist with strong beliefs and fight for human rights. marched “the stormy of the Bastille,” and leader of the Société. However, she had no work published nor a deep focus on how she felt about the revolution. I was able to research how French society viewed her as a revolutionary. She was an activist with strong beliefs and fight for human rights. But what’s more beautiful is that she was a woman, a woman with no rights. She knew what inequality  meant. She could not protect herself because the society did not give it to them. She had to stand in front of the legislature assembly to say women should be able to protect themselves. Women should be able to fight for their country, not just sit. Doing the little time I spent studying her I feel strong and independent. She was a married woman and understood how to take care of her household. However, domestic duties should  not be the only thing Women are capable of. Her bravery is the beginning of my story. Haiti has fallen into a crisis and the people are desperate for a change. I may not be able to change the government itself; However, I can make little changes like gathering other youths to help a kid that can’t go to school, starting a charity for the people. Reach out to others that are willing to help. Leon believed she could have made a change and she did. I believe I will be able to make a difference in my country for my people. To take back our human rights that were taken without remorse. 

References 

Anderson, Marge. “The Clergy and the Nobility: The     French Revolution.” Big Site of History,

Big Site of History, 10 June 2008, 

“French Revolution.” Ducksters,

https://www.ducksters.com/history/french_revolution/causes_of_the_french_revolution.php.

https://www.history.com/topics/france/french-revolution

            History.com Editors. “French Revolution.”         

History.com, A&E Television Networks, 9 Nov. 2009, 

“Leon.” Crozier On Stuff,  

https://crozieronstuff.com/leon.

“Pauline Leon-a Radical Ready to Die for Revolution.” Socialist Worker, 28 Mar. 2022,

Anderson, Marge. “The Clergy and the Nobility: The French Revolution.” Big Site of History,

Big Site of History, 10 June 2008, 

“Women in the French Revolution: A Resource Guide: Pauline Léon.” Research Guides,

https://guides.loc.gov/women-in-the-french-revolution/pauline-leon.

Yvania Muscadum: Miami as Text 2022

Yvania Muscadum was born and raised in Haiti then moved to the United States in 2013. She is a Junior at Florida International University majoring in Mathematics. Through her passion she has been able to help students struggling with math. As an active member of Homestead Evangelical Church of Homestead, she helps with the finance team. Yvania had encounter many opportunities in Florida which opened doors to a better future. She enjoys acting and have been part of theatrical play like ” Colored Museum, I have a Dream, and Identity theft. ” Yvania Believes that opportunities are given to establish a pathway for the next generations.

Deering Estate as text:

Photo taken by Yvania Muscadum, The prohibition era wine

Justice Favors the rich

by Yvania Muscadum of FIU at the Deering Estate. 1/28/22

Deering Estate is one of the most breathtaking places in Miami. It is so enriched with hidden history and the nature of it is next level. Charles Deering did an amazing job incorporate different culture to build the place. As soon as we stepped in this place, we were able to see the richness of it. Education should start at this place. To be able to learn about Tequesta, who led the path for all of our immigrants to Miami. To learn that they lived at Deering estate used shell, drank water that runs from Biscayne Bay was amazing.

The amazing part of Deering estate is to learn who built the place. Bahamian immigration worked to build history today. To learn that Deering Estate was mostly built by Afro-African, Afro-Bahamian in a time where segregation was still going on. Every story with beautiful memories has a sad part, and we want to take this moment to honor the workers that lost their lives in such tragically way. To learn that four workers were killed, and five injured from a dynamite explosion. The working conditions was dreadful, and the environment was not welcoming.

The most shocking place at the Deering Estate was the prohibition era wine. To learn that Charles had the courage to hide a hidden alcohol place was mind blowing. this secret room setting shoes that Charles had other people drinking with him. If we remember those times, with the prohibition alcohol was expensive to buy and not everyone could afford to go against the government. Justice at that time was in favor of the rich people. Not only he could import alcohol to his estate, but he could also drink with no problem. As we usually say, ” innocent until proven guilty,” in Charles states he was innocent by his fortune. To think with his military background, he would of being an exemplar, instead his fortune gave him a different path to do things middle class or poor people could not.

It was a great experience to visit the Deering Estate. One day we would be able to tell the next generation of what was thought at this place. We cannot forget history, the Tequesta sheltered at the estate, the burial, and the afro-Bahamian who built it. We were able to learn how money can be an innocent card for the rich.

Viscaya as text:

Photo taken by Yvania Muscadum,

J’ai dit, “Let there be Viscaya”

God said “Let there be light.” In 1912, James Deering with his fortune said Let there be Viscaya. A breath taking place that many people visited and enjoyed. With its beautiful structure and its historic ground, this place became the paradise James Deering wanted to have. By 1916, after he hired about 1000 workers James world was created. walking in Viscaya we can see different pieces imported from different country , which shows us how godly James Deering was at this place. He was able to showcase different culture from Europe, Italy, to the Spaniard the Europeans settlers to bring to life Miami in a chateau. A proud man like James Deering with Viscaya in his hand controlled who could entered the place

Photo taken by Yvania Muscadum

This beautiful place was never opened to everyone. For some it was a guest house, lodge, ” Un abris.” However, to others it was just a work place. Doing this era as we know, blacks was not welcome to many places. as we know that James hired more than 1000s worker, who many of them were Bahamians origin. This place was built by black workers who were underpaid, poorly mistreated, and mostly lived in segregated area. “j’ai dit” by James was a statement to proved his glory over the land, to showoff his fortune. For Black workers, “J’ai dit” is an understatement for Viscaya was build with their strengths, sweats, and their bare hands. A place they were not welcome to nor was acknowledge for their works. Most worked their whole life cleaning a place they could not sit or rest.

A place that today’s generations stepped in and touched with no issues. This place had a Moat which was a security measure for invaders. When God said let there be light, the Light shined on rich, poor, black or white. To think when James build Viscaya it would of being for all. Unfortunately, this place was limited to some well mostly to those who built it.

J. D created a retired place who became an historic place to many. A place which doors was open for one of our President and the pope. a place Black could not sit nor admirer which now all race, ethnicity, is enjoying.

Downtown as test:

Photo taken by Yvania Muscadum-dropped bowl with scattered slices by Oldenburg and Coosje

A broken custom, birth to our culture

Miami is known for its rich cultures, the sunny white sand beaches, and the amazing foods. A place we can say founded by a woman, built by many hardworking slaves, African Americans, immigrants, and the Seminoles. It is a city full of histories. Many suffered either by deception, betrayal, discrimination, injustice. But today we have a city with different race, ethnicity, culture. Miami have broken the stereotype, the traditions of the American life, and gave birth to a diversity lifestyle.

Photo taken by Yvania Muscadum/Wagner house

Living in Miami we get to see the mixed race, culture, foods, music, arts. The best part of this trip is to see the home of a mixed-race couple. Wagner married a Haitian woman who had her kids discriminated because of their skin color. They offered their homes to the Seminole and became a peacemaker them and the Northern settles. It is beautiful to see during the mid-1850s, the bravery of these couple is the foundation of what Miami is today.

Miami have opened its arm to many immigrants like: Haitians, Cubans, Mexicans… The world is not perfect, and today we are still fighting what our ancestors went through. However, we can see the beauty Miami holds. Miami would not have been what it is today without the diversity it holds. What create an amazing city is the people living in it. It is the memories, histories, traditions created as time pass by. We were able to break all customs and live free with different traditions that make us who we are.

SoBe as text:

Photo taken by Yvania Muscadum-park central hotel

A nest to rest

A bird will build her nest knowing it will be a safe place for abris. A place where they can lay eggs, protects their family from predators. South Beach is the place where everyone is welcome. A famous place visited by many: college students, tourists, celebrities and more. it is home to many and a retreat to others. The best place for vacation where you get to enjoy the amazing culture and the beautiful arts.

Today South Beach is open to everyone, blacks, jews, even the gay community. if we go back to history, we will see the injustice that the minorities encounter. this place was built by them, but others had the opportunity to enjoy it. This place is more than just a vacation spot or a haven. It is history. Many was rejected but today many is being acknowledge. It was built to attract a certain group of people, but today it is a sanctuary to all.

South beach is art on canvas. without having a background on South Beach, you will be intrigue by the color, structure, and nature. The uniqueness of Miami is the art deco. Anyone can spot the eye-catching architectural style. The bold colors, the geometric structure and its inspirational everyday object. From street food, events, arts, South Beath is the place of all. Memories can be created as well as shared.

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