to popular belief, one black family did sail on the “Titanic.” Haitian
native Joseph Phillippe Lemercier Laroche came from a rich and powerful family.
His uncle, Dessalines Leconte was president of Haiti. Joseph could also
speak two languages and he had an engineering degree but he couldn’t find a
job because of his color.
and his wife had decided to take their daughters Simonne and Louise to visit
his mother. They made second-class reservations on the “Titanic” at the
last minute. It is believed they purchased the last available tickets.
family encountered blatant racism on board. Some passengers shouted racial
epithets at them whenever they left the cabin. For their safety, they
decided to stay indoors and they hardly ventured out of the cabin.
April 15, 1912, when the ship hit an iceberg and began to sink, Laroche loaded
his pregnant wife Juliette and two daughters into "lifeboat 14," just
before the ship sunk at 2:20 a.m. Joseph and 1,500 other passengers would
go down with the ship.
1918, six years after the death of her husband, the ‘White Star Line’ awarded
Juliette Laroche $22,119.00 dollars.
1980, Juliette Laroche died at 91 years of age.
daughter (Simonne and Louise) has ever married, had children or left France.
Zondra Hughes @ Ebony Magazine