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Ansanm/Together: Haiti in Stories

Sunday, May 5 @ 12:30 pm

Little Haiti Cultural Center, Children’s Alley

212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami, FL 33137 United States

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This year, the Little Haiti Book Festival features two captivating readings from the Ansanm Koleksyon, showcasing the talents of Marie Barrett, Josephine Lentner, Minerve Jean, and Olguyne Barreau. These distinguished authors will present their unique stories, each with themes of freedom, cultural identity, family bonds, and the beauty of diversity.

The first session at 12:30 p.m. will highlight “Ansanm!” with Barrett and Lentner at the helm. Barrett’s The Taste of Freedom/Libète gen bon gou explores the contrast between life as a slave and the liberation post-independence, using the metaphor of enjoying soup as a symbol of freedom. Josephine Lentner’s I Am Haitian Enough/Mwen Ayisyen ase focuses on a girl of mixed heritage navigating her identity as informed by diversity and self-awareness.

At 1 p.m., “Ansanm!” continues with Jean and Barreau. Jean’s The Haiti We See/Ayiti mwen wè involves themes of heritage and memory, connecting young readers with cultural and historical aspects of Haiti. Barreau’s We’re Black and We’re Beautiful/Nou nwa e nou bèl is a poetic celebration of Blackness and beauty, instilling pride and confidence in embracing one’s cultural and physical identity.

These sessions offer an enriching experience for young attendees and a meaningful opportunity for families to engage with Haitian culture through literature. Each book caters to both English and Haitian Creole speakers, making them invaluable for cultural education and personal growth.


OLGUYNE BARREAU (aka Olguyne Fernandez-Fraga) is a South Florida-based registered dietitian. While she has been featured as a subject matter expert for different topics in nutrition, she is new to creative writing. We’re Black and We’re Beautiful/Nou Nwa e Nou Bèl is her first published children’s book, born of her desire to write bilingual children’s books to share Haitian culture and Haitian Creole with young readers everywhere. When Barreau was growing up, there was a dearth of Haitian-inspired literature for children; she hopes that children of Haitian ancestry today will have more and more access to books about their culture in their mother tongue. She is grateful for organizations like Room to Read and NABU that have supported her writing, and in her spare time she enjoys cooking for family and friends and gardening.

MARIE BARRET is a Haiti-born author and educator. The Taste of Freedom is her fourth published book, after All In, Sandy Can’t Get Me Down, and Ms. Irene Is So Demanding. Her love of writing is inspired by her teaching experience, which spans more than two decades, from NYC to Georgia. She holds a BS in education and an MS in TESOL, teaching English to speakers of other languages. The Taste of Freedom is her debut bilingual text, and a tribute to her mother tongue and all who wish to share their culture and history in Haitian Kreyol. She is excited about her role in spearheading the first Haitian Children’s Book Festival in NYC.

Born in the Ayiti and raised in the vibrant state of Florida, MINERVE JEAN is an author and writer at heart who draws inspiration from her roots and the world around her. She enjoys writing children’s books, young adult fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction, all with one vision in mind: to paint pictures using words and create magical and immersive experiences. She partnered with Room to Read and EducaVision for the “Asamn” Haitian children’s book collection, through which her debut children’s book, The Ayiti We See, was published. Her work was most recently featured in the NABU Haitian Creole collection.

JOSEPHINE LENTNER is a children’s book author, model, content creator, entrepreneur, and Miss Panamerican Haiti 2022. Her latest creation, I Am Haitian Enough, reflects her deep-rooted connection to her heritage as she intricately weaves tales that celebrate Haitian culture and identity. Raised in the Haitian diaspora with a passion for storytelling and a commitment to representation, Lentner’s work not only entertains but also educates, inspiring young readers to embrace their own identities. Through her diverse pursuits, Lentner exemplifies resilience and creativity, leaving an indelible mark on both the literary and cultural landscapes. Her hope for children is to make sure they know that they’re enough.


Sunday, May 5
12:30 pm


All Year


Little Haiti Cultural Center, Children’s Alley
212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami, FL 33137 United States
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