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. 


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

Big Site of History, 10 June 2008, 

“French Revolution.” Ducksters,



            History.com Editors. “French Revolution.”         

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

“Leon.” Crozier On Stuff,  


“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,


Yvania Muscadum: Paris 2022

Over and Under

Attention a la marche, Reality is at the end of the steps

by Yvania Muscadum fiu France 2022

Looking at the metro 7, the first thing I expected to be was a rich neighborhood. Many can say that Paris is a historical place and everywhere tells a different story. For me, I wanted metro line 7 to be different than other metro lines and to have a different story then them. I do not know why I wanted something different nor understand my ambition. Maybe I wanted to tell my people back home that I went to the richest part of France. I believe I was living in this fantasy world and was expecting it to be fulfilled by metro line 7. It was a fantasy far from reality. However, When I step down the metro my perspective totally changes. I saw different cultures, religions and the real world. 

Place monge

The moment I got down from the metro, walking toward the escalator I saw beauty. Nature was calling me as well as the market. My personal connection to this stop was greater than I expected. It reminds me of my country. Growing up from a third country many things look poor. Usually, a market would indicate we do not have a Walmart like other countries. The products are better and fresh but that does not make us seem less poor in the eyes of others. When I saw the market in this big country, my perspective changed. I ask myself why was it so wrong in my country? Walking through the market, I saw beauty, fresh and clean products. Why people in my country cannot see that? Is not about being rich or poor but it is the ideas that enriches the culture. I thought the market was the greatest thing I ever saw. However, with the help of my professor, I was introducing to the Muslim religion and had the best tea ever. It was a surprise, so I would not spoil more for the upcoming student doing the program. But I enjoy it because it changes my views on how I see the world. The best connection to that metro line was the mint tea. As I took a sip, I tasted a different culture, and learned about a different culture.

Maison Blanche

The first place I stopped for my project was Maison Blanche. With my bad translation I thought I was going to see the white house. The first thing I reliazed was that the architecture was different then the original Paris looks. As I looked around I saw a plaque that had someone’s name who I was not familiar with. I decided to do some research and saw that the person was a resistance fighter who was killed august 22, 1944. During my stay in France, I learned a lot of things I did not know. To be able to see a plaque of a resistance fighter was special to me. I may not know him but he was a hero. He fought and died for his country. Many may not know him as I was at first, but I know one day I will tell my children about his country’s history and his name will be mentioned just like the other hero. 

Porte d’italie 

For one month in Paris , I saw different art and was even exposed to more churches than ever. I chose this stop because I felt like there was a connection with Italy. Doing my research, I found out that this stop is the center of the 13th arrondissement. To me it felt different than everything I learned about Paris. It was not about a king, christianity, not war. It was just a place where people live. This is my personal connection with this place 

Porte de choisy 

Porte de Choisy was one of the most choking places ever. Not in a bad way, I was just shocked by a different culture. As I stroll down the street another version of Chinatown in NewYork. I was happy to see different asian people living in this area. With everything going on in the world and people blaming asian people for the coronavirus. I saw a safe world for them.  I sat down in different restaurants not only to enjoy their food but I felt like I could see and learn one or two things from their culture. If you are, I’ll say their seasoning is different, but they are the same human with a different history. I coul not sit down and just compare any of them. With all the respect I have for their culture I saw one group of people enjoying life. 

Porte de la villette

When I looked up in the metro I saw Porte de la Villete cite des sciences et de l’industrie. I smiled and said to myself that this stop contains more than one connection. As a Stem major myself, I wanted to see something scientifically related. I myself chose this stop. When I stepped down I took the first exit I saw. It was the wrong exit but I saw more than what I expected. The exit was Centre des événements. I started thinking maybe it will lead to a place that has different events in history. I was excited to learn more about those events. However, when I went out it was different. To me it felt like a different world. My curiosity got the best of me and I started walking more. I saw a different Paris that most tourists won’t go to. Maybe they will feel like it is not safe or not pretty enough. Was I scared? Of course I was. I was petrified but my curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to see more. This part of Paris was never on television. It was a part excluded from the country in my opinion. Many may ask if there was a personal connection. From what I saw, there’s more than just connection. To me this was a reality hidden from the world. I saw tents and I realized people live here and it was their reality. It reminds me of 2010 in Haiti. I was one of the survivors of the earthquake that happend and I lived for more than a year under a tent. I could give more than one reason why I spent those times under this thent. One thing I realized, whether I stay there because I did not have a place to live or I did not feel safe inside my home. I knew for sure that living under the tent was my new reality. When I saw those tents in Paris after getting down at Porte de la Villette. It brings back good as well as bad memories. Sometimes we need to adapt quickly to new life in order to survive, which I did in 2010. Many of us had no place to stay and we stayed under those tents for more than one season. The day I saw the tent in Paris, I realized how corrupted the Haitian governments are.  It may have been seen as one place where people stayed under a tent but in Haiti half of the country was. To see that the government did not do anything to help, make me understand that Haiti will never change. I felt connected to this stop because I know how it feels living in a condition like this. I felt like the government turned on them as well and I could hear them scream for help. 


The one thing that caught my attention was the academie. I chosed this stop because I felt like it would showcase music, plays, etc… When I went up the stairs, it felt like I felt like I was in a musical piece. I do not know if it was the gold sculpture I saw or the different art. I just fall inlove with the place. If I were to choose a romantic place in Paris, I would choose this one. It inspired me to express my feelings as well as doing what I want to do in life. For the first time doing this project I Felt an emotional connection. 


This place to me felt more like the United state. The architecture is totally different. I do not know if it is because I saw similar stores like Pizza Hot. I did not feel like I was in Paris more like Miami. Just by looking at the building I could tell they were more spacious and it was far from any art. 


This is one of the best stops in my opinion. Many may talk about the mall or the history. But to me, what captivated my attention was the diversity, the ambiance, as well as its own culture. When I was at the chatelet I saw a group of black folks with a radio and dacing to the beat. This was an event I thought I would never be able to see. With technology, kids nowadays spend more time on the internet than anything. I felt like I was going to see more of that in Paris. However, I was wrong. I saw people singing, dancing, and others exploring. When I saw the boys dancing, I wanted to join. It brought back memories. Before we had cell phones, we could spend more time with each other. We were able to communicate better and we understood each other better. The joy I saw in those boys’ faces became a virus as I caught myself smiling as well. I stood in one spot but my spirit was dancing with them. It was like a childhood memory. Dancing under the moonlight with family and friends.

Pont Neuf 

The best part of this stop is the bouquinistes. As I explored this beautiful bridge, I talked with more than three bouquinistes. It was magnificient. Many know so much about books, it felt like I was in an outdoor library. It was not about the place nor the equipment but the passion that they have. My professor explained that it is a tradition that they kept and they would usually sell banned books. I was excited to go and see for myself. What I saw was a different world where nobody felt trapped nor in chains because of society. To me those banned books represent my life. Someone may not like how I live my life or how I share my experience with others. They may try to hide me or push me away. One thing they may not know is that somewhere I matter. 

La courneve ( 8 Mai 1945)

The first thing I saw in this stop was the date. I decided to look into and found out it was the day Charles de Gaulles announced the end of WWII. As I previously mention I wanted my line to be a rich neighborhood. instead, it was more than that. To see that one of the stops had the most important date in France history was amazing. also, the other thing I saw, maybe it was because I was homesick and wanted to go back. I promise you I saw Miami beach. I may sound crazy but the building I saw had these rainbow colors, it was the neon colors. I stood for more than five minutes looking at the building. I was intrigued and perplexed, for a moment I thought I was dreaming. This stop may have been known for its historical events. However, it will always be the second Miami Beach, or maybe more. It was an appreciation of art. It may have looked like different colors in a building but to me it was close to home. Just a couple miles and I will be able to go to exit one. 


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.

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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