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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Tchaka Night 2012

A dance group from UMass Dartmouth called “Pan-African” performed during the event.




On March 31, UMass Boston’s Haitian American Society (HAS) hosted Tchaka Night, an annual celebration of Haitian culture. The show featured comedy, song, rap, spoken word, food, fashion, dance, and much more. Over 200 people attended this event and over 100 attended the party afterwards.

The show was co-hosted by comedian Haitian Jonas and UMass Boston student Carla Leroy. Jonas, whose real name is Jonas Jeannot, came from New York to perform, and was enthusiastically received by the crowd. When asked about how he came to be at this event, Jeannot said, “They contacted me to host. I [hosted] last year and had fun.” Jeannot has been doing stand-up for four years.

UMass Boston police officers showed a strong presence at the event, positioned at every entrance and exit. The officer in charge stated, “[In the past], this event has been problematic in terms of making sure that all who attend, pay. […] Many of the officers covering this event are volunteer officers. [Some] are in training from the academy.” No incidents occurred during the evening, however.

Chris Louis, sophomore psychology major, attended the show and said, “I love this event. It’s really live and you’re able to grab the cultural essence. The people are great.”

During the event, a secretary of Linda Dorcena Forry, State Representative for the 12th Suffolk District, took the opportunity to make an announcement about the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program. According to Forry’s website, this program will “[allow] Haitians already approved for visas to wait for them in the United States with their families rather than in Haiti. […] These Haitians have already been screened and accepted through a rigorous process. All that remains is for them to physically come to the United States.”

UMass Boston student and president of the Haitian American Society, Ernst Jr Joachim, planned the event. “It took a lot of hard work, long hours, several meetings, a lot of emails, great team work. I was very satisfied with the outcome,” he says. Joachim says there are more HAS events to come. “[We] are in planning mode.”

The event was a success as always. Tchaka Night, now in its twelfth year, attracts a diverse group of people who all have one thing in common: the joy and knowledge of celebrating Haitian culture.