July 28, 1915 marked the beginning of a nineteen-year occupation of Haiti by the United States Marines following the assassination of Haitian President Vilbrun Guillaume Sam. While President Woodrow Wilson of the United States promised to end Haiti’s political turbulence and provide stability, the true intentions of U.S. intervention were to protect U.S. interests. Eventually, the repressive and discriminatory nature of the occupation became exposed to the American public. There are a number works on the Haitian occupation that demonstrate its imperialistic nature. However, many fail to adequately analyze the anti-occupation stance of African Americans and how domestic racial oppression informed their advocacy against U.S. imperialism, which they interpreted correctly as an extension of racial policies at home. The atrocities experienced by Haitians caught the interests of prominent African American leaders, organizations, and editorialist. This I.S. draws on existing scholarship and articles published by the leading African American magazines and other sources to explore how and why African Americans became involved in the Haitian crisis. This thesis reveals how African Americans utilized the Haitian occupation as a political tool for black mobilization and as a platform to advance their cause for domestic policy changes in the U.S. that pushed towards more equality and inclusiveness.


N'Diaye, Boubacar

Second Advisor

Sene, Ibra


History; Political Science


Haiti, U.S. occupation of Haiti

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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