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date: 07 April 2020

Coicou-Madiou, Léonie locked

(1891–1974), educator, actress, feminist, and activist,
  • Mamyrah Dougé-Prosper


was born Léonie Coicou in Pétionville, Haiti, on 10 April 1891, to poet and writer Massillon Coicou and Lisebonne Joseph. While her father served as a diplomat, she studied in France. There, she began her acting career with the Théâtre de Cluny in Paris, playing the role of “Petit Sim” in her father’s play Liberté in 1904. Four years after Coicou’s return to Port-au-Prince, on the night of 14 March 1908, her father and his two brothers, avid supporters of Anténor Firmin, were accused of plotting the overthrow of then US-backed President Nord Alexis and assassinated along with more than a dozen friends. That same year, in response to a defamatory article written about her deceased father, Coicou, then only eighteen years old, entered public life by defending his legacy in the influential Haitian newspaper of the epoch, L’impartial. She married Justin Madiou on 25 April ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography.

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