Council Members Eugene, Louis celebrates Haitian Founder of Chicago

City Council Members Mathieu Eugene and Farah Louis along with Haitian-Americans and local supporters celebrate the co-naming of the Clarendon Road/Flatbush Avenue intersection as Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Blvd. Photo by Tsubasa Berg

City Councilmembers Mathieu Eugene (D-Brooklyn) and Farah Louis (D-Brooklyn) celebrated the Haitian-American frontiersman, entrepreneur and founder of Chicago, yesterday. Nov. 14 with a street co-naming at the Clarendon Road/Flatbush Avenue intersection.

As taught to all Chicago-area public school students at the elementary level, Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable was a fur trader, born in Haiti, who married a Native American woman and who in the 1780s, established the first non-indigenous permanent settlement – a successful trading post on the banks of the Chicago River.

His ability to translate for different cultures including the English, French, Spanish, and Native American people solidified his role as a valued entrepreneur and frontiersman. Du Sable will forever be remembered for having been the catalyst that transformed Chicago from a small trading post into the major metropolis and economic center it is today.

Photo by Tsubasa Berg

“In 2019, I was honored to co-sponsor Intro 1631, voted overwhelmingly by The City Council, to co-name Flatbush Avenue between Empire Avenue and Foster Avenue in honor of Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable, and it is wonderful to come together as a community to celebrate this wonderful occasion,” said Council Member Eugene.

“I am excited for the opportunity to bring all New Yorkers together as they stand alongside the Haitian community to embrace and celebrate our heritage and to build a more prosperous future for Haitian-Americans. So many leaders from many different ethnic backgrounds have given their support to help Haiti through the many crises it has faced, and I am forever grateful to them for their concern and humanitarian gestures. Despite these setbacks, we must remember that the Haitian people are strong, resilient, and courageous, and we must continue to focus on positive actions that reflect the vision and passion of our ancestors.

“The values and intrepid spirit that Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable embodied during his lifetime are a profound example of how we must collectively work together to improve our global society for future generations. That is the importance of this moment and this cultural event, to serve as a sense of inspiration and empowerment so that we may carry on the legacy of our ancestors.”

t Sunday’s street co-naming, we will recognize our common heritage and embrace the legacy of a man who crossed cultural boundaries to achieve progress for humanity. The values and intrepid spirit that Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable embodied during his lifetime are a profound example of how we must collectively work together to improve our global society for future generations. That is the importance of this moment and this cultural event, to serve as a sense of inspiration and empowerment so that we may carry on the legacy of our ancestors.”

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