Local Artists Commemorate Haiti Earthquake with Little Haiti Mural

Today marks the year anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti. The 7.0 magnitude quake took the lives of over 230,000 people, injured 300,000 and left hundreds of thousands homeless. This catastrophe brought international attention to this small country and the world has come to its aid.

With the heavy Haitian presence in the South Florida community, our city was seriously affected. Now, a year later, the community is coming together again to commemorate the lives of those who were taken in the quake. The MLK Community Mural Project, along with 12 local artists from Haiti and Miami and several local students, are painting a 5,0000-square-foot mural on 79th Street and Northeast Second Avenue, in the heart of Little Haiti.

The mural shows the history of Haiti and contains imagery that is vital

to the country's heritage: the hand of god, voodoo, the periodic table,

the Haitian flag, and the first Haitian slave. The goal of the project

is to display a positive message to the community.

The MLK Community Mural Project is an international program that has

produced more than 250 murals in the U.S. and worldwide, including

Haiti. They are working on 25 murals in Haiti and are employing 7,400

Haitians through their partnership with the United Nations. They teamed

up with the Little Haiti Optimist Club to collect local artists and

students to work on the project.

One of the lead artists, Kevin Morris, has lived in Little Haiti for

over 20 years. Morris is working with local students to create this

institution in his community. He has seen a lot of turmoil and

uncertainty amongst its people and is glad that he can give back some

his talents. "I think the people are grateful for this, since this came

from the heart. I think MLK hit the nail on the head; we have everything

in here, past present, and future. And they've been showing love

throughout the whole thing. It's definitely a beautiful thing."

The mural will be unveiled at 7925 NE Second Ave today at 5:30 p.m. after a candlelight ceremony.  

-- Joy Taylor

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Miami New Times staff