Beausejour Antoine, 57; chronicled rise of Boston's Haitian community

Beausejour Antoine

Beausejour Antoine was a photographer who rarely had to direct his subjects to smile for his ever-present camera. If he was in their midst, chances are they were already smiling back at this Haitian-born photojournalist, who was a bundle of high energy and good humor.

Mr. Beausejour — or Bow-say-ju as he was widely known to most Haitians in Boston — died on April 3 in a Brockton health center after an illness that began with a sudden stroke more than a year ago. He was just 57 years old.

For many years, his photo work appeared in the pages of the Dorchester Reporter and our sister publication, the Boston Haitian Reporter. A fixture at the region’s many Haitian-American events, he chronicled the steady progress of the Greater Boston community of people— like himself— who emigrated to Massachusetts from Haiti in the 1960s and 1970s. More recently, he hosted an influential radio program that brought important information about politics, health, and business opportunities to Haitian people in their native Kreyol.

Mr. Beausejour was passionate about his work. He would frequently bound into our newsroom— or onto the front steps of my Lower Mills porch— carrying his latest batch of freshly-developed prints. Sometimes, without asking, he would be carrying poster-size enlargements of his favorite subjects— all the while laughing and beaming with a huge smile. Each year, he celebrated his birthday with a blow-out party that was advertised in the newspaper, online, and via social media. It was a thing on the Haitian-American social calendar each season.

Mr. Beasejour leaves his wife, Marie Gertha (Decime) Antoine; two sons— Marc and Godson Antoine both of Brockton; a daughter Jessica Antoine of Brockton; and four brothers, Benel, Gamael, Wilbert, and Gensley Antoine, all of Haiti.

A wake is set for Sat., April 17, at the Home of Funerarias Multi Culturel, 238 Court St., Brockton. A funeral will be held on Sunday at 10 a.m. in the Brockton Temple 7th Day Adventiste Church, 235 Court St., Brockton.