By Ayo Onikoyi
Francoise Merus, a Haitian writer (30) lived all her life in Haiti and did most of her schooling in the United States of America. The only cultures she had even known were that of the people on the Caribbean Island of Haiti and the American people until she decided to have a DNA test that altered the course of her life.
Francoise Merus grew up in Haiti as a child, then moved to Miami, Florida where she finished high school, then went to Barry University, also in , Florida where she studied public relations
Three years ago she created a community called BlackLovePage.com. with over half a million followers on Instagram. It’s a cultural website celebrating black excellence and black love. She’s also an author who had published four books about poetry and self help. She has held a lot of events and have done a lot in controlling the narrative about black love and black excellence.
Francoise is also a world traveler, helping others to travel the world at affordable rates through a platform she created called TheUltimateTravelers.com. She’s a full time entrepreneur.
Here is an excerpt of her interview with AYO ONIKOYI, Entertainment Editor, VANGUARD.
So Francoise, who are you and what do you do ?
I’m Francoise Merus, Haitian then took a DNA test and found out I am Ghanaian. I studied Public Relations at Barry University in Miami, Florida. I created BlackLovePage.com with over half a million followers where I am giving our people a voice. Black love, black excellence, and everything else that should be celebrated in our culture. I am also a published author. Today’s Insight: A Collection of Poems: Volume 1 and 2 and a self help book. I am also a world traveler and helping others travel with me at affordable rates through TheUltimateTravelers.com which I created. I am a full time entrepreneur. I aspire to show my people that with social media you can create a living and income; follow your passion
What exactly do you mean by black love and excellence?
My website features proposals, weddings, and amazing things that black people are doing in the world. For example My website/ social media is a platform where wedding vendors can get discovered; where people can share their love stories to inspire others .. and I share stories that aren’t typically told.
I’ve helped a lot of people get exposure
You said it was through DNA test you found out you were Ghanaian. Weren’t you told a story by your parents about your roots?
My parents didn’t even know! I took an ancestry test and once I found out I went to Ghana. Black people in the Islands are ignorant of their African history. We have to find out through testing and research, that is why I really want more black people from the Islands to find out their history. I told my parents now they want to know more
But there are reports that African traditions abound in the Caribbean; how true is this?
There is still a huge disconnect, Many Island people embrace the culture but don’t go digging to know more. There are a lot similarities but I had to find out my tribe which my parents didn’t know. We are from the Ashanti tribe.
What is your Blacklove page all about and what impacts has it made?
Black love page has an annual charity where we give back to an inner city by giving back to the homeless. Black love page is a society and cultural website where we acknowledge all aspects of life for black peoples. Love, education, community, and overall promoting/sharing positivism among black people
What’s your present occupation and vocation too?
I am a published author. I also manage my Black Love Page blog website where I make a living through running ads and I have memberships for wedding vendors and I attend weddings to help them go viral
So, what have you done as an author and what’s the big idea behind your taking to writing?
These are the 4 books that I’ve published :Today’s insight: A collection of poems volume1 & 2 . My Season: A self help book and lastly Protect your peace. I’ve done live spoken word poetry. I write about romance, urban fiction, and a lot of poetry and everything uplifting! I’ve always wanted to be a writer since I was a little kid. I would always write for my friends to read my work. I believe that my calling is to share stories that will uplift the world. And to write beautiful poetry that will inspire anyone at any stage in life. Which is also why I launched BlackLovePage.com it all ties into my purpose.
Upon discovering your roots as an African of Ghanaian descent, how has it shaped your thinking and general outlook?
I am now on a mission to learn more about my roots and I want to give back more to Ghana. We have such a painful history with slavery but I know there is more to us than just that. Also, I want to share stories about Ghanaians and their love stories more on my platform. I feel a sense of obligation to give more light to my people. My overall outlook is what slavery and separation brought on black peoples and it is still going on. Look at how I had to go digging to know more about my roots. We should all go digging to know more about where we come from. Also, Ghana is a very peaceful country and I feel so at home. I am very proud!
What have been the best moments of your black love page, what are the stirring stories?
One of the greatest moments for black love page are our weddings! We help weddings go viral on the internet! We use social media to live stream weddings. Using social media I help followers to feel as if they they are a part of the special day for our couples who use the service. Also black love page features weddings where we highlight wedding vendors .. that is great because I use black love page to help bring more awareness for wedding vendors and get their work seen. Black love page is also a great source for celebrity updates! Their wedding anniversaries and engagements are shared on my platform.
Black love page also shares inspiring stories about people finding love on tinder or through their friends. I’ve also been featured as an influencer at a recent black love summit in Atlanta Georgia
After discovering your root, do you feel more Haitian, Ghanian or American
I feel more Ghanaian because Africa is the motherland and we were taken away from our original homes to where we had to create new identities. I am Ghanaian and everything else comes after that.
I will forever cherish my Haitian roots but Haiti is an island and we didn’t start there .. we were dropped off there so I know my Ghanaian roots is what I need to learn more of. I’ve only had my blog Black Love Page for three years and I have over half a million followers and a huge email list. Black love page is one of the fastest growing pages on Instagram, gaining around 500-1k new followers every other day