Don't miss Bruce Weber's exhibition Haiti/Little Haiti at MOCA


The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami presents Bruce Weber: Haiti / Little Haiti through February 13, 2011. This extraordinary exhibition of photographs of Miami’s Haitian community by celebrated photographer Bruce Weber is part of MOCA’s Knight Exhibition Series and includes approximately 75 photographs taken by Weber from 2003 to 2010. Bruce Weber: Haiti / Little Haiti is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami and is curated by MOCA Executive Director and Chief Curator Bonnie Clearwater.

In 2003, The Miami Herald published a magazine supplement of Bruce Weber's photographs of Miami's Haitian community. The photographs were Weber’s response to an unjust U.S. immigration system in which Haitian men, women and children were detained indefinitely unlike refugees from other countries who were typically released to family or friends while awaiting asylum hearings. The documentary film, The Agronomist, by Jonathan Demme, had been Weber’s call to arms.  In it, Demme chronicled the life of Haiti’s most famous journalist, Jean Dominique, the founder of Radio Haiti Internationale, and his murder by unknown assailants in 2000. Incensed by the violence, political strife, and poverty depicted in the film, Weber asked Demme what he could do, and Demme suggested turning his attention to what was happening to Haitians in Miami, where Weber had a home. Compelled to tell the story of the struggle of Haitian immigrants, Weber immersed himself in the Haitian community, which he has continued to chronicle through the present.

Bruce Weber is renowned for revolutionizing fashion photography and the same formal elements that make his fashion and celebrity photographs so forceful contribute to the impact of his Haitian photographs.  As Bonnie Clearwater notes, “The strong sense that the figures exist in real space and can be touched, caressed, and embraced makes us feel as though we know or would like to know each of these individuals, and consequently we become concerned with their fate.”

“In his fashion shoots he captures what he sees in the models – beauty, youth, strength. This holds true as well for his Haitian photographs.  These images convey what he sees and admires in the Haitian children and adults he photographs, -- their strength, pride, resilience, elegance and beauty,” Clearwater said.

Weber chose primarily to work in black-and-white for the project, but switched to color film when photographing Haitian Flag Day celebrations. Over the years he has built up a large archive of photographs of Haitian celebrations, church congregations, Little Haiti stores and boulevards, as well as portraits of individuals, groups, and families. Weber’s presence is welcomed in Miami’s Haitian community. 

Miami’s rising Haitian leaders, politicians, artists and entertainers have also posed for Weber.  He generally photographed these professionals in their element. The immigration crisis earlier in the decade made it imperative for Haitians to become more visible and influential. In his unique way, Weber has captured images of a dynamic, diverse and evolving community, bringing the Haitian neighborhoods of Miami to a wider international audience.

A catalogue featuring an essay by Bonnie Clearwater, poems by Edwidge Danticat, and writings by Bruce Weber and Alberto Ibarguen, will accompany the exhibition.

Bruce Weber: Haiti / Little Haiti is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami and is curated by MOCA Executive Director and Chief Curator Bonnie Clearwater.

The exhibition is made possible with major support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Media sponsorship is provided by The Miami Herald. The exhibition coincides with Art Basel Miami Beach.  Additional support is provided by Irma and Norman Braman.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is located at 770 NE 125th Street, North Miami, FL 33161. For information, call 305.893.6211 or visit www.mocanomi.org.


Help for Haiti: Message from The Global Syndicate and Project Medishare


Please help The Global Syndicate and Project Medishare as we do our best to prevent a potential epidemic. Click here to donate funds of which 100% will support Project Medishare and its efforts on the ground in Haiti.  No amount is too small, but no support is unacceptable.  200+ have perished, 2000+ have been infected, and the number can increase exponentially rapidly if adequate containment efforts are not undertaken.  Please contribute right away and encourage at least 5 other people to do the same.

Reports have been confirmed of a Cholera outbreak in several provinces in Haiti.  Cholera is a serious infectious disease caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae, which affects the intestinal system of the body. An infected person experiences severe vomiting, explosive diarrhea and severe dehydration. Without immediate medical treatment, cholera may result in death within four to twelve hours after symptoms begin. Due to a large loss of body fluids, cholera is gruesome in the way that it leaves survivors in their physical appearance, as well as in the biological toll it takes on the body.

We are currently raising awareness and much needed financial support for our non-profit partner, Project Medishare, who is leading efforts to battle this ongoing viral attack. Below is an excerpt from the leadership at Project Medishare…

"Project Medishare is on the front lines in the Artibonite, Central Plateau and PAP fighting this epidemic as we speak. We have 100+ community health workers who are canvassing the camps with prevention tools and education, as well as our hundreds of doctors and nurses in country who are working closely with Haitian Ministry of Health at these clinics to provide manpower and support in St Marc as well as the new areas of outbreak.  Medishare has been called upon by the American Red Cross as well as PIH for back-up in the areas outside of St Marc which are now showing major outbreaks and we have been asked to get our four massive 5,000 sq feet field hospital tents put up out of the ground to provide 20,000sq feet of additional hospital space to treat patients, setting up cots as most are laying on the ground, and providing antibiotics, bleach, water tablets, buckets etc.  We are mobilizing a major cargo shipment down tuesday with additional supplies to help in St Marc and Artibonite and assist the haitian red cross as they are experiencing shortages in many areas.  

We should have these makeshift cholera treatment centers in the four  5,000sq foot tents built up by Tues (they are being built right now) so that we have space to treat an additional 400-500 patients at a time, as well as getting portable AC units and fans up to these areas because of the heat+high fevers, people are losing their lives much faster before they can get treatment in the overrun hospitals. We were hoping for containment and prevention but because of the alarm this caused in St Marc, there was a mass exodus out of the area and into PAP which we suspect has now carried cases into PAP and the MSPP (ministry of health) have given a very dire outlook on the situation with another 800,000 cases and deaths possible in the next 6 months if we can't get this contained.  We can most definitely (and pretty desperately) use the help in the way of an emergency grant to cover this effort because we did not have resources available to direct towards these expenses of cholera treatment supplies+ cargo lift to Haiti and any assistance would be greatly appreciated and put to worthy use."

Please help The Global Syndicate and Project Medishare as we do our best to prevent a potential epidemic. Click here to donate funds of which 100% will support Project Medishare and its efforts on the ground in Haiti.  Please contribute right away and encourage at least 5 other people to do the same.




Jacques-Philippe Piverger
The Global Syndicate
Founder & Chairman


Political Notes from the Miami New Times

Luke's Gospel Local rapper, businessman, coach, etc. Luther Campbell opines in his blog Luke’s Gospel at the Miami New Times that suspended City of Miami commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones is innocent and (I’m paraphrasing) there was a huge conspiracy to get her out of the way so now commission chair Marc Sarnoff can have his way with the allocation of City of Miami finances.

Since former County Commission chair and Spence-Jones mentor, Barbara Carey-Shuler basically changed her testimony and said she authorized the transfer of funds from two community groups to Michelle Spence-Jones’ family business, tongues are wagging as to who is really guilty and of what.

No matter how you slice it, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and her staff, especially Atty. Frank Scruggs, are taking a beating in the court of public opinion. There’s still more to deal with as far as MSJ is concerned but let’s just wait and how this plays out. Anyhoo, there are lots of unanswered questions and plenty of opinions to go around. Wyclef

Haitian superstar Wyclef Jean may run for president of Haiti. It has been reported that he has not decided if he will run but has definitely filed the required paperwork.  Jean is Haiti’s best known advocate and anything is possible. Stay tuned.


Arts for haiti

100% of the proceeds from this unique event will be used to support Friends of the Orphans, a non-for-profit organization that provides financial support to Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs (NPFS, French for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters”) in Haiti


MIAMI- Monday, April 26, 2010 -- Friends of the Orphans, a non-profit organization that supports orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, is the benefactor of “Arts for Haiti,” an evening of fashion, music, and poetry held to spread awareness of the organization, its donor and child sponsorship opportunities. The event will take place on Saturday, May 22, 2010, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, 3550 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL. A $12.00 minimum donation is requested in celebration of the survivors of the January 12th earthquake in Haiti (All additional amounts are welcomed).


Hosted by the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery located in the Design District; the event will headline a fashion show featuring young designers, Jacinta Ligon www.jacintaligon.com, Viviane Valerius, Britney Samuels for Obe Santos www.obesantos.com, Yasser Faraco www.yasser-faraco.com, Waina Chancy, Funky Sexy Couture by Joey Rolon www.funkysexycouture.com, and Robinson Elie www.latentunlimited.com; makeup by Zoule Makeup, Haitian poetry recitals; live musical acts by well known Haitian artists such as T-Mich Fil Louime and many more.  Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres are sponsored by Delices de France Bakery, Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, Crystal Head Vodka, Seagram Sweet Tea, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and Zaya Rum. The silent auction will feature some of the designs from the fashion show and an exciting raffle highlighting some must have items. Complimentary valet will be available. Corporate event sponsors include, Neurology Associates Group, No Pin, Jacoby & Meyers PLLC, Christina’s Party Rental and Central Magnetic Imaging.  100% of the proceeds from this unique event will support Friends of the Orphans.  Follow us on Facebook.com/artsforhaiti.


About Friends of the Orphans: Friends of the Orphans provides support to Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs (NPFS, French for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters”), which has been serving Haiti’s poorest communities for over 25 years. Together with Friends of the Orphans, NPFS operates St. Damien HospitalHaiti’s only free pediatric hospital, a home for over 350 orphaned and abandoned children, as well as other community outreach projects. Friends of the Orphans had 3 orphanages in Haiti, however, due to the earthquake lost the Kay Père Wasson or The Father Wasson Center located in Pétionville, Haiti. Despite suffering extensive damages during the January 12th earthquake, NPFS has continued to take on the mission of bringing sustenance and medical care to the thousands of homeless Haitians. Since its founding in 1954, over 15,000 children have been served. Friends of the Orphans outreach programs, including hospitals and clinics, serve more than 30,000 children and adults in Haiti, Bolivia, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru each year. For more information, please visit, www.friendsoftheorphans.org.



Wyclef and Yele in the news again

Wyclef_Jean_girlfriend_Yele Wow, just when you thought the drama was over, scandal about Wyclef Jean and his charity, Yele Haiti, are back in the news. This time Jean is accused of paying his mistress $105,000 through the charity in 2008.

The alleged mistress, Zakiya Khatou-Chevassus, is listed as vice president with Yele and is also Jean's personal assistant. Their relationship is supposedly no secret and Jean is in an open marriage.  

This would be an appropriate place to insert a persnicky remark but I won't. Let's hope Wyclef Jean addresses this issue right away. Folks may not connect the dots that the $105,000 was spent before the earthquake in 2010. they also may not get this open marriage arrangement between Jean and his wife.

Whatever the real deal is I'm sure the IRS is poring through the financial records of Yele Haiti with a fine tooth comb and we'll hear more on that if it's newsworthy. As far as Wyclef and a girlfriend, well, that's up to him and his wife; we'll hear more about that also, if it's newsworthy.

Source: Miami New Times

City of Miami Gardens Officials Host Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Application Drive in support of the South Florida Haitian Community

South Florida Caribbean News Picture
MIAMI GARDENS - Mayor Shirley Gibson and the City Council of Miami Gardens are joining the Haitian American Lawyers Association in presenting a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) application drive on Saturday March 6, 2010 from 10:00 AM - 4:00PM -Miami Gardens City Hall, located at 1515 NW 167th Street, Building 5, Miami Gardens. ... Read More...


From South Florida Caribbean News


MDC Hosts Community Candlelight Vigil for Earthquake Victims in Haiti Jan. 26

Candlelightvigil_0 MIAMI, Jan. 21, 2010 – Continuing its collegewide campaign on behalf of Haiti’s earthquake victims, Miami Dade College (MDC) will host a community candlelight vigil at its eight campuses and centers at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010.

The vigil will be a public memorial that will include a moment of silence and meditation, a celebration of life ceremony, music, poetry readings, and oral presentations about the culture and history of Haiti, and other activities.

WHAT:   MDC Community Candlelight Vigil for Earthquake Victims in Haiti

WHEN:   Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010

6 p.m.

WHERE:    Miami Dade College’s Campuses and Centers:

Kendall Campus, the Koffeehouse, 11011 S.W. 104th St., Miami 33176

North Campus, Bldg 4, Atrium, 11380 N.W. 27th Ave., Miami 33167

Wolfson Campus, Fountain Area, Bldg 1, 300 N.E. 2nd Ave., downtown Miami 33132

Medical Center Campus, Student Life Patio, 950 N.W. 20th St., Miami 33127

Homestead Campus, Café Patio, 500 College Ter., Homestead 33030

InterAmerican Campus, Flag Courtyard, 627 S.W. 27th Ave., Miami 33135

Hialeah Campus, Pavilion, 1776 W. 49th St., Hialeah, 33012

West Center, Campus, Student Patio, 3800 N.W. 115th Ave., Doral 33178

Carrie Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center, Atrium, 6300 N.W. 7th Ave., Miami 33150

For more information about the MDC Candlelight Vigil for Haiti, contact Lourdes Perez at 305-237-6001 or [email protected].

Temporary Protected Status for Haitians

Posted on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010

Hundreds file for Temporary Protected Status at Little Haiti church


Hundreds of undocumented Haitian immigrants crowded inside Notre Dame D'Haiti Catholic Church on Monday seeking help in filing applications for Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, a special federal immigration program that will allow them to remain legally in the United States and obtain work permits.

Getting a work permit was a priority for many of the more than 500 people, many of whom had relatives in earthquake-torn Haiti.

``My house in Port-au-Prince collapsed during the earthquake,'' said Jacques Claudore Deravil, 50. ``I need to work to send money to my wife and children who have been sleeping in the streets since the earthquake.''


Wyclef strikes back

by Vanessa Woodard Byers

Haitian singer Wyclef Jean's foundation, Yele Haiti, has been trashed in the media for how monies it has raised in the past have been spent. Unfortunately, for Jean the reports lingered far too long before he issued a response so the damage done to his fundraising effort is unknown.

We do know from reports that Yele Haiti raised $2 million dollars in two days. Donors were able to send a text message that would donate $5 to Haiti earthquake relief. Requests to donate traveled quickly throughout the internet. I donated and encouraged others to donate by sending messages through my Twitter accounts, Facebook and MySpace.

Then I saw this: From the Christian Science Monitor and other sources ---

On Yéle's website, the group claims "100 percent of funds raised (will) go to the relief operation." Claims such as this should be taken with a grain of salt….

"There are always going to be some overhead expenses — there is going to be a transaction expense for a credit card donation. So when those types of messages are made about 100 percent going [to a group's work], even if the charity is getting its other money to pay for those expenses, the fact is the expenses are still there."

Statement from Wyclef Jean

"My commitment to Haiti is a unique and everlasting bond."

"I formalized that commitment when I formed my first foundation, in 1994. From that day forward, I have spent tireless hours working on behalf of my homeland on development issues as well as human and immigrant rights.

"I have been committed to helping the people of Haiti throughout my life, and that commitment will continue until the day I die.

"It is impossible for me to even comprehend the recent attacks on my character and the integrity of my foundation, Yele Haiti. The fact that these attacks come as we are mobilized to meet the greatest human tragedy in the history of Haiti only serves to perplex me even further.

"I first learned of these baseless attacks when I left Haiti late Friday, where I had been since 12 hours after the earthquake.

"Let me be clear: I denounce any allegation that I have ever profited personally through my work with Yele Haiti. These baseless attacks are simply not true.

"In fact, I have, time and again, committed significant amounts of my own money to support the work of Yele Haiti and other organizations in support of our efforts over the years.

"More than that, I have spent countless hours, days, months and years of my life committed to the country of Haiti, the people of Haiti and the success of Haiti.

"These baseless allegations were first put forward by a fringe website with a history of pursuing sensationalist story lines. The mainstream media's pursuit of them has required Yele to divert precious resources during this critical time in order to answer various inquiries. That must end.

"I will continue to commit my focus to what is most important right now: Haiti. Right now, Yele is working with its valuable NGO partners, the U.S. Government, the United Nations and so many others to save lives, honor those who have perished and get aid to the millions of Haitians suffering through the worst human catastrophe of our times.

"I will never give up on my commitment."


Related link: Wyclef Jean's Foundation Questionable Spending

Haiti Watch: Keep Haiti’s needs in the forefront

by Vanessa Woodard Byers

We have been inundated with coverage of the crisis in Haiti in the aftermath of the recent earthquake. People all over the world are poised to assist with relief and recovery efforts but actually putting that in action has not happened quickly enough because of the destruction of access points to the islands ---the seaport, airport, roads and bridges.

It is difficult to watch the desperation, destruction and death on television. Several photos are circulating the internet that give the unsanitized version of what the people are dealing with in Port-au-Prince and Petionville. I have yet see any coverage from Jacmel where friends here have received messages from family expressing extreme hunger and thirst.

I won't rehash what you've likely read or seen already but I must reiterate the need to pace ourselves and commit to a comprehensive plan to rebuild Haiti. How many of you are willing to do that? President Obama has received tremendous criticism from some Americans for his swift response to support Haiti. Some have also expressed extreme disagreement with efforts to bring Haitian children to this country in a similar manner of Operation Pedro Pan for Cuban children in the early 1960's. And the granting TPS (Temporary Protective Status) has sent some folks through the roof. When all is said and done, we can agree to disagree on this issue. Those who support our government's assistance to Haiti must not remain silent in support of our government's efforts to help the Haitian people.

While we cannot and do not want to forget the devastation to Haiti; it is crucial to remember the beauty of the nation also.

This blog is on Haiti watch and will follow the relief and recovery efforts. Stay alert! Stay connected! Help the people of Haiti, Follow Blogging Black Miami on Twitter and get updates on my Facebook page.