BOULDER, Colorado, US (sentinel.ht) – A university professor and writer, exiled from Haiti in 1957 to become a vocal voice, through his writing, of the Haitian Diaspora opposition to the Duvalier dictatorship passed on August 24, 2016.
Franck Laraque was born in Jérémie, Haïti, on February 25, 1922, the second son of Frank H. Laraque and Clarisse Léger, who had five children (Paul, Franck, Yolande, Guy and Ruby).
He did his secondary studies at the Lycée Nord Alexis in Jérémie, and the Lycée Pétion in Port-au-Prince. He graduated from the Académie militaire d’Haïti, the École de la Cavalerie de Saumur (France), the Faculté de Droit (Haïti), Hunter College, and the City University of New York, where he received his doctorate in French Literature.
In 1947, he married Anne Marie Laraque (who died in 2002) with whom he had three children; Marie Hélène, Grégor and Michèle.
Franck left Haïti in 1957 amid political unrest after a career as an officer in the army, and established himself in New York City. Upon his arrival in exile, he became an active part of the Haitian community in New York. Joined in 1961 by his brother Paul Laraque, they formed a fierce opposition against the dictatorship of the Duvaliers and foreign domination in Haïti.
He was on the faculty of City College of New York from 1969 until his retirement in 1992 when he was given the accomplished title of Professor Emeritus.
Franck was an avid tennis player and horseback rider, and had numerous interests including basketball, soccer, and world affairs.
- La révolte dans le theater de Sartre in 1976,
- Des impératifs de changement radicaux en Haïti in 1976,
- Défi á la pauvreté in 1987,
- Haïti: la lute et l’espoir in 2003 with his brother Paul, and
- edited the collective work Paul Laraque: Éclaireur de l’aube nouvelle in 2009.
His last book, L’instrumentalisation de la pensée révolutionnaire, a bilingual (French and English) compilation of his essays and reflections, was published in 2014.
Franck participated in many conferences and radio and television programs in French, English and Creole. He visited France, Cuba, Spain, Italy, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Franck also received numerous awards, including the
- Haitian Studies Association Award for Excellence (2004, in Puerto Rico),
- the City College Award for 20 Years of Exemplary Leadership (1992, presented at the conference on Cultural Survival in Americas – 500 Years of Resistance),
- the Haitian Student Organization of the State University of New York, Stonybrook, Appreciation Award (1991), and
- Appreciation Awards from Haitian communities in 1990, 1994, 1995, 2003 and 2011.
Franck moved to Boulder, Colorado in 1996 with Anne Marie to be with their daughter and grandchildren, and remained there until his passing at home on August 24th, 2016.
He is succeeded by his son Grégor, daughter Michèle, seven grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.
He is missed greatly by his family, friends, the Haitian community, and all those whose lives were touched by him. Arrangements under the direction of Crist Mortuary, Boulder, CO.