Here’s the Untold Story of the Black Man On Board the Titanic

Joseph Laroche was a Haitian Black man onboard the Titanic who lost his life He was married to a white woman He was survived by his wife and their two children. www.blacklikemoi.com


Reported by Nigel Boys

The sinking of the RMS Titanic on the fateful night of April 14 1912 and early morning hours of April 15 has been well documented since there were 892 crew members on board at the time and 1,320 passengers of which over 1,500 of them lost their lives.

There have even been successful movies and books about the famous disaster and her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City that has been called one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.

However, there has hardly been any mention of Joseph Laroche, a well-to-do, Haitian-born, black man who lost his life on the voyage, while he was travelling with his pregnant wife and their two young daughters, three-year-old Simonne and 21-month-old Louise. His wife, Juliette Lafargue, survived the disaster along with their two daughters.

However, after all these years, one of Laroche’s descendents, Marlie Alberts, is determined to shed light on the French-educated engineer and his interracial marriage to a woman of a high society France and the problems they faced because of racialism.

Alberts is actually related to Laroche, whose body was never found, because he was her seventh great-grandfather’s nephew as well as being the nephew of the 21st president of Haiti, Cinninatus LeConte.

According to Alberts, Laroche qualified as an engineer in France and therefore should have been able to get a good job to support his family. She adds, however, that due to racialism in the country at that time, the only work he was offered was at such low pay, he would have struggled to support his wife and children.

Laroche, who spoke English and French fluently, therefore decided to return to his home country to obtain a better position there and originally had been booked in a first class cabin on a French liner to make the journey. However, since racial issues again reared their ugly head for the family, they changed their tickets for second class on the Titanic.

When the interracial family boarded the Titanic on April 10, 1912, the interracial family was subjected to derogatory comments from other passengers.

According to Judith Geller, author of “Titanic: Women and Children First,” although the history of survivors of the disaster has been abundantly covered, there is no mention of an interracial family among the passengers.

However, Alberts aims to change all that in a three-part miniseries screenplay, which she hopes will gain the interest of various TV networks.



37 Comment

  1. I knew their was a family of color on the ship but did not know his story…great post.

  2. I thought Shine was the only black on that damn ship.

  3. Good article!
    If there were 832 crew..1,320 passengers, and1,500 died, does ththat mean 180 survived? Jus a question..I thought there were more survivors???

  4. Can’t wait to see the mini series.

  5. I know less of the story but Bucktooth has a point.

  6. Recycle a story much? This was already published with pictures of the family months ago. When the movie is coming out then revisit the situation but don’t publish it every few months as if it’s newly discovered news

    • As you can see, a great deal of people did NOT know about Mr. Laroche’s story until this article was published. Feel free to add any additional information you may know about this brother and his family; otherwise, keep it moving.

  7. Interesting, Can't wait to see it….@ Ericaf, recycling can't be that bad, this is the FIRST i'm seeing this article, and would have missed , if it had not been recycled.

  8. Would like to see that Mini-series.

  9. That Movie I would love to see. Racism is the most distructive force of all sin because it involves so many people from all walks of life.

  10. Forget James Cameron I would definity would see this film the Cinematic version of course I know that either Brothers Spike Lee John Singleton or even Mario Van Peebles would make this film a lot effective possibly make us cry the best thing in the 97 version was the tragic scene the rest of it was long and boring something to watch to fall asleep on but Brother Laroche story is worth seeing I read this in a Ebony article some years ago but did not pay attention I foolishy swept it under the rug.Now I understand it time that Blacks should start really supporting each other in films TV and others so we know what is important and what is not I know that the 97 version may have been good but so was Rosewood that got ignored not only by whites but by our arrogant and ignorant Blacks as well because we rather see Booty Call that was out too than important films like Rosewood like Do The Right Thing was telling the Truth of what happened to us Blacks in those days

  11. The ship was sank by Thee Almighty because it carried slaves in the hull. They died but so did the more uncivilized "wealthy" people and the ship's owners, for building the ship. And guess who built it?

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