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Earthquake in Haiti - Bayyinah Bello Interview - Part 2 - Tremblement de Terre

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Uploaded on Feb 15, 2010

An excerpt from an interview with Bayyinah Bello - Port au Prince, Haiti Interviewed by Nana Kimati Dinizulu in Port au Prince, Haiti February 2, 2010

One January 12th 2010, a catastrophic earthquake occurred in Haiti ( Ayiti). The Dinizulu Center for African Culture and Research at Aims of Modzawe Inc., which has strong ties with Haiti and some of its people, decided to explore ways in which they would be able to help with the relief efforts on the ground in Haiti. Subsequently and consequently we departed for Haiti from various locations on January 27 and 28 of 2010. Our Ren dez vous started in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic on January 28th where we traveled by land across the border to Port au Price, Haiti. Our exit was on February 4th 2010, when we returned to Santo Domingo for our return flights. Many of the reports by western media that we were receiving outside of Haiti seemed to be in direct contradiction to reports we were hearing from family, friends and associates we had on the ground. The infrastructure and communications in Haiti were severely damaged. Our communication with people on the ground was sparse and at times nonexistent. During this time period The Dinizulu Center decided to send a small relief team to assist and conduct research. We immediately began to pull together limited resources to facilitate this effort.

The team consisted of four people; Judy Michel ( Nurse Practitioner), Natalie Barnes ( Re-known artist and activist), Dr. Kofi Brema ( Historian) and Nana Kimati Dinizulu (Osofo, Musician and Director of The Dinizulu Center). Staff and members of the Dinizulu Center, the majority who live in the United States of America also participated and supported the moral efforts of the reaction team. The members of the team were very clear that during the planned nine day trip into Haiti, they would have to be as self sufficient as possible in order to survive. Food and medical supplies were gathered with the intent to distribute them to survivors of the earthquake. Technological tools that were to be used to document the entire effort were serviced and updated.

This eleven part series shows excerpts from an interview of the Re-known Dessalines scholar, Bayyinah Bello. Besides being a mother, leader, elder and a deep thinker, Bayyinah Bello heads up a very powerful grassroots organization, Fondasyon Felisite di Fondate Ayite a Bon Fet Papa Dessalines. She is also the director of the cabinet for the Minister of Culture and Communication; Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue, who we also stayed with during part of our stay in Haiti. Bayyinah Bello was our host during our entire stay in Haiti during this time period. Even though she had sustained injures during the earthquake, she was at the helm of some of the relief efforts in Haiti and had polarized under her leadership scores of other culturalist, intellectuals and an overwhelming number of students and grassroots people. This gave members of our team the feeling that we were in a maroon encampment. Not once did we see her eat food or drink water without making sure those around her had been served first. She was almost always in constant state of prayer and communication with her ancestors and the forces of nature. Bayyinah Bello is a student of world history and a professor at the University in Haiti, a prominent lecturer at many of the key centers of African thought particularly in New York City, New Jersey and elsewhere. She has studied throughout Africa, the Caribbean, America and parts of Europe. In many of our private discussions she mentioned the late Dr. John Henry Clarke, who was one of the worlds most prominent teachers and thinkers on world history.

This is an important interview which should be viewed in its entirety to gain as thorough an analysis as possible on some of the view points and thoughts about the culture in Haiti and some of its current events such as the Tremblement de Terre ( The Earthquake of January 12, 2010).

Over the next few days we will share more footage, photographs, audio, news and interviews of culturalist and practitioners of African culture in Haiti. The organization Fondasyon Felisite di Fondate Ayite a Bon Fet Papa Dessalines, is in dire need of all types of assistance. Those with a desire to help this organizations efforts on the ground in Haiti can send us a message and we will be more than happy to facilitate this effort. Overall, the people of Haiti need help. Individuals as well as organizations that are willing to and can, need to find the solid campaigns in existence and try to contact them to see how you are able to help rebuild Haiti, which will take years. Food, water, shelter and medical assistance to name a few, are paramount to the survival to our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

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