Hey, why didn't Haiti claim back its African name when it became independent?
Hello. Why would Haiti reclaim its African name? It didn’t possess one lol. The slaves who were brought to Saint-Domingue (Haiti’s colonial name) were from various regions of Africa (although a great number were from the Congo), as a result, there was not a single “African culture” but several. Furthermore, up until the very last episodes of the Revolution, most people still had an attachement to France, of course this changed with the Leclerc expedition (1802).
That being said, “Haiti” was the original Taino name of the island, (the Taino people were the indigenous population that lived on the island before Columbus.) Many historians have speculated that one of the reasons Haiti’s head of state decided to call the new country this way was to show that it was breaking its ties with the racist, slave-holding, colonial world and wanted to pay a sort of tribute to the indigenous population that had been massacred precisely because of colonialism. In a lot of ways, Haiti was sending a very provocative message to the rest of the world with this name. :3 (Therefore, I think people ought to be careful not to automatically link everything to Africa, being a colonized people means having a plurality of identities.)
Well, hope this helps :)