In 2009, novelist Madison Smartt Bell curated a Haitian music playlist for The New York Times. Bell is known for a trilogy of books about Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution, including All Souls’ Rising (1995), Master of the Crossroads (2000), and The Stone That the Builder Refused (2000). The series is an unparalleled collection of historical fiction by Bell, who also wrote a biography about Toussaint Louverture in 2008.
Below, watch some of Bell’s musical suggestions including music from Wyclef Jean, Boukman Eksperyans, Boukan Ginen, and others. (photo of Boukan Ginen by Stephen Homer via World Music Central.org)