Tabou Combo vocalist Yves Joseph and his wife Nadja, pictured below to the left, organized a fundraiser for Obama at their home in Teaneck, NJ. (Tabou Combo is the most famous Haitian Konpa band and one of the oldest.)
My sister Laurette, pictured in the middle below, and her friend Hilde (left below) helped organize it and I was asked to speak about my experiences volunteering for the campaign in Brooklyn, NY, Milwaukee, WI, Cleveland, OH and Philly, PA.
NJ State Senator Loretta Weinberg and NJ State Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (both pictured at the top to the right of the hosts) spoke as well. Luckily, Dwa Fanm, a Haitian women's empowerment organization, had recently interviewed me about my experiences as an Obama volunteer for their newsletter and the Josephs thought it would be a good handout for the event. To my surprise, fundraiser-goers really enjoyed hearing picture by picture anecdotes and by the time I went through Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania, they were asking for more! (I needed a cold drink.)
It was all very thrilling but most would agree that the Yes We Can cake was the highlight of the evening!
Host Yves Joseph introduced me to the cake's architect, pictured below:
Over 100 people attended.
Senator Weinberg who had attended a similar grassroots fundraiser the day before talked about the very first press conference she and Assemblyman Gordon held in support of Obama early in 2007 when few believed he had a chance. Less than 10 people showed up, she recalled.
A student from New York traveled all the way to NJ to give a speech on Obama and a local real estate agent showed up to hand out free Obama T-Shirts. Most of the guests had been personally invited by the Josephs but some, like the couple from nearby Englewood pictured below, found out about it from www.barackobama.com.
One of the guests claimed that Haitians in New York voted mostly for Barack's opponent because they were not sure back then (Feb 5th!) whether he could win. I have yet to get my hand on the stats but since I had made appearances to speak about Obama on Radio Tropikal while volunteering with Brooklyn for Barack, I was a bit disappointed. This is to be further investigated.
Here is the slideshow. This view may be better if you want annotations of each picture.
Oh and for those unfamiliar with Tabou's music, here's a bit of Tabou goodness performed on one of the band's numerous France tours. Let's see if you can spot the host Yves Joseph aka Fanfan Tibot or Herman Nau, who was also at the Obama event, in here:
Technorati: obama - new jersey - teaneck - tabou combo - herman nau - yves joseph