Katherine Dunham: A Woman who Became One with Haiti http://www.role-models.us/Dunham.jpg
Just as surely as Haiti is "possessed" by the spirit of vaudun (voodoo), the island "possessed" African American Katherine Dunham when she first went there in 1936 to study dance and ritual. In this book, Dunham reveals how her anthropological research, her work in dance, and her fascination for the people and cults of Haiti worked their spell, catapulting her into experiences that she was often lucky to have had. Here Dunham tells how the island came to be possessed by the deities of voodoo and other African religions, as well as by the deep class divisions, particularly between blacks and mulattos, and the political strife still very much in evidence today. Full of flare and suspense, Island Possessed is also a pioneering work in the anthropology of dance and a fascinating document on Haitian politics and beliefs.
Tthe book "Island Possessed", details Ms. Dunham's experiences and sentiments of her adopted homeland, from the year 1936 to the late 1960s, and even describes her final initiation into the Vaudoun (Voodoo) religion of the half-island. She speaks Haitian Creole fluently, she has owned a beautiful 18th century Haitian estate, "Habitation LeClerc," for decades, and, in the early 1990s, she "put her life on the line" and went on an extended hunger strike, when President Aristide was overthrown and forced to leave the country. Ms. Dunham also adopted a young girl from the French West Indies island of Martinique, back in the 1950s, as further demonstration of her love and commitment to the Diaspora.