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
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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