Emmanuella “Ella” Florence Turenne, an acclaimed Haitian playwright, academic, and activist, died of a heart attack induced by a blood clot on Dec. 25 in Palm Bay, FL.
Born on July 5, 1974, Ms. Turenne was an artist and entrepreneur currently pursuing a PhD in Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine. In 2019 she was included among 26 change-makers on The Haitian Roundtable’s 1804 List. Named in honor of the year of that country’s independence, the list recognizes Haitian American leaders who have helped foster a better understanding of Haiti and the Haitian community. A journalist, poet and filmmaker, Turenne is the founder of “Fanm on Films,” a podcast that showcases the work of Haitian people in film and television, and well as BlackWomyn Beautiful, a platform that celebrates the power of black women. Her poems have appeared in Tanbou magazine and the Anthology of Haitian Poets in Massachusetts, among other publications. Her movie “woodshed” was nominated for best short film at the Montréal Haitian Film Festival. She co-edited the book revolution|revolisyon|révolution 1804-2004: An Artistic Commemoration of the Haitian Revolution (2004) and has written for The Haitian Times.