Feaatured Image: Leyla McCall’s 2018 Album Capitalist Blues
Above: The Ebb and Flow Of The Slave Trade: and links between Haiti and new Orleans…
Leyla McCalla is a New York-born Haitian-American living in New Orleans, who sings in French, Haitian Creole and English, and plays cello, tenor banjo and guitar. Her parents were born in Haiti and her dad, Jocelyn McCalla is a journalist, ambassador and human rights activist as well as the translator on her album Vari-Colored Songs (a tribute to the complexity of the work of African American poet, Langston Hughes an important member of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920’s and who died of prostate cancer at 65 in 1967).
Her mum, Regine Dupuy, set up the currently contested anti domestic violence foundation Dwa Fanm and is the daughter of journalist, Ben Dupuy who ran the Haiti Progres newspaper in New York. McCalla’s younger sister, Sabine McCalla, is also a musician in New Orleans.
If you want to read into Haiti, I recommend a novel.
The Effluent Engine follows a Haitian spy through New Orleans in an alternative history adventure. Jemisin’s heroine must negotiate the new ideals of a liberated Haiti and the internalized norms of New Orleans’ Creole society as she attempts to garner vital strategic information.