Here goes my virtual interview with Pierre:
Share one of your favorite childhood memories.
From Port-Au-Prince to Aux Cayes, I was the first in my family’s lineage to go to school. Back in 1964, the kids who went to school went barefoot. My father being from the city bought me a pair of shoes. I went to school wearing shoes and everyone surrounded me to look at my shoes. When I got home I told my parents and guess what? The following day, they sent me to school barefoot.
Who has influenced you the most and how?
My father and maternal grandfather have been the two most influential people in my life. My grandfather traveled from Haiti to Cuba at a very young age for more than 15 years. There, he worked very hard. He then chose to move back home, where he lived a great life until his last day.
If you could start all over again, what would you do differently?
I wish that I pursued a higher level of education towards a PhD degree in Political Science and be involved in more social activities.
What lesson did you learn while living in Saint Maarten and what lesson did you learn while living in the U.S.?
In Saint Maarten, I was very young, it was a new experience living abroad. Being in a new society, it was a time for reflection: who I am, where am I and what to do with my future. In the U.S. precisely in NYC, I was now an adult, I learned how to integrate as an immigrant and how to change my life around.
What would you like to leave for your grandkids?
Being born and raised in a poor country, I decided to raise my children in a rich country where they have great opportunities. I want to leave a better socio-economic status for them, elevating our name from a low social class to middle class. My father always told me to become someone in life. He invested in my education, during this time in Haiti, only a few people went to school. He knew that if I was educated I’d have more chance to have a job in the government. He reminded me that an educated person has no border.
What hope do you have for younger black men growing in America?
My hope for black men in America to have change to be equal. I also hope that as the world changes they would be optimistic, believe in God and pursue a higher education. Refrain from hating on each other and be real men in the new society ahead.
We are stronger with him as we learn to embrace the unknowns of life and take risks. Don’t be afraid to take the BIG one. Make sacrifices for your immediate family but don’t leave your siblings behind. Carry out the heritage that your parents worked so hard to leave for you.
Cheers to a Legacy of Educated Family