Orlando Patterson to Keynote John Hope Franklin Colloquium (Depauw University)

The legacy of one the leading black intellectuals of the twentieth century will be analyzed and celebrated at DePauw on March 12 and 13 as the University presents a colloquium, “From Slavery to Freedom: John Hope Franklin and the Road Ahead.” Orlando Patterson, John Cowles Professor of Sociology at Harvard University, will provide the event’s keynote address

Read the rest here:

Harvard Prof. Orlando Patterson to Keynote John Hope Franklin Colloquium, March 12-13.


Henry Louis Gates: Don’t Blame the Devil (Haiti)

“If there is a curse on Haiti, we don’t have to sully another person’s religious beliefs to find it. Perhaps curses, like charity, start at home. And the first two places to search for the source would be the White House and Congress, especially those historically dominated by Dixiecrats. Starting with Thomas Jefferson and continuing in a steady march that only really began to end when President Bill Clinton sent General Colin Powell to broker the deal for the generals to “retire” and restore Haiti’s first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a succession of American presidents and Congresses have systematically undermined the independence and integrity of the Haitian Republic. I thought about this ignoble, shameful history as President Obama proclaimed, for one of first times in the history of both republics, that “we stand in solidarity with our neighbors to the south,” they “who share our common humanity.” It was a noble sentiment, long overdue.

America’s ambivalence about a black republic of former slaves in this hemisphere manifested itself at the time the revolt broke out in 1791….”

Read the rest at History News Network via the Root.

Debating the Future of Haiti

1) Sir Hilary Beckles “The hate and the quake”

2) Response to Beckles by Anthony Wilson “Blame Haiti’s Politicians”:

3) Message to the Montreal Conference on Haitian Relief by Norman

Reconstructing History and Memory in Haiti

Experts to assess damage in Haiti museums « Repeating Islands.

“AFP reports that the UN cultural agency UNESCO is sending a team of experts to quake-hit Haiti on Wednesday to assess damage in the Caribbean nation’s museums and monuments, its director general said. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also wants to help the University of Haiti in Port-au-Prince return to normal. “I am sending experts tomorrow (Wednesday) to look at the situation in the museums, to see the state of various cultural objects, because the information that we have is that there has been a lot of destruction,” Irina Bokova told AFP….”

See Repeating Islands to read the rest.

From Jérémy Lachal and Danielle Mincio via H-Net:

Here is a brief note on the situation in Haïti.

We have a contact with Patrick Tardieu who is an archivist in the oldest library in Port au Prince, Bibliothèque des Pères du Saint Esprit.  Fortunately, he’s alive and flighted yesterday to Canada. The first information we have are:

– Saint Martial College in which there is the Bibliothèque Haïtienne des pères du saint esprit collapsed

– The St Louis de Gonzague library building would be ok but very weakened

– The national Library collapsed, at least a part of it

– Most of the university libraries collapsed too

Those libraries gathered very old collections (from the 16th century).  Several manuscripts were brought by the missionaries who came from Europe.  Other have been collected in the Caraibs (notably, publications on the
haitian revolutions, transcriptions of vaudou oral traditions, personal documents from the 18th centuries).

We think it’s urgent to run an international campaign for saving these collections, at least in France, the US and Canada. We have to create dedicated funds to launch the campaign and raise money. On our side, we are already in contact with the French IFLA comittee (International Federation of Library Association), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (through its agency CulturesFrance) and the culture ministry.  In the US we will work with professor Laurent Dubois, Duke University, who has a good knowledge of these collections and is ready to rally the archivists and the historians community. Patrick Tardieu, who is in Canada now will help us too, to have a better knowledge of the situation.

We have to prepare, for next week to :

1/ Open a dedicated fundraising account at least in the US and France for the operation (not only focused on the emergency of saving these collections but also on the effort of rebuilding in the next monthes)

2. Work with organizations such as IFLA, UNESCO and the FOKAL Foundation (its director, Elizabeth Pierre Louis, who we well know is still missing for the moment) in order to avoid the redundancies.

3/ Prepare to form a team of curator, archivists, historians and logistics coordinators who would be ready to go there in the next weeks or months.

For the moment we have good contacts in Guadeloupe. We might need to find places in Canada and in the US. People are mobilizing there and could prepare rapidly to host the collections for a while. Patrick Tardieu told me
that we maybe could host them in other places in haiti if the roads are ok.  We’ll check up on this point next week. Our principal ennemy will be the rain from now. The collections could be destroyed forever. Most of these pieces are unique.

We’ll have more info hopefully next week on the collections and the situation there. Don’t hesitate to share the news you’d have.

Thank you for your mobilization. BSF sent a first communiqué today in memory of Mamadou Bah, a good friend of us, who worked at the UN in Port au Prince.

You’ll find it at this adress: http://mim.io/15f12?fe=1

We have no news from Nixon Calixte who was coordinating the UNiversity Libraries network in Haiti


Jérémy Lachal
Directeur – BSF
+33.(0) – +33.(0)
Bibliothèques Sans Frontières
69 rue Armand Carrel, 75019 Paris

Rejoignez la cause BSF sur facebook: http://www.causes.com/bibliosansfrontieres

Vous aussi, soutenez Bibliothèques Sans Frontières gratuitement à chacun de
vos achats sur Internet: http://www.doneo.org

From: Danielle Mincio [mailto:danielle.mincio@bcu.unil.ch]
Sent: Friday, January 22, 2010 7:51 AM
To: pac-list@infoserv.inist.fr; ifla-l@infoserv.inist.fr
Subject: [IFLA-L] News about Haitian Libraries

Dear Colleagues,

The National library has not collapsed but is badly damaged. Patrimonial architects are going to examine the state of the building to know it will be possible to intervene. The state of cultural buildings will be analysed after those absolutely essential (hospital, etc.)

St Gonzague’s patrimonial Library is completely destroyed.

The St Martial Library, possessing manuscripts from the 17th to 19th centuries, is badly damaged in its structure and will also require an intervention of rescue.

The Library of the University Quisqueya is also very damaged.

While waiting,  the international Committee of the Blue Shield launched the on-line registration of the volunteers in English or in French.
Attention to use only small letters in your address http://haiti2010.blueshield-international.org/node/3
Join us !

The president of Bibliothèques Sans Frontières has given me the bibliographical list of the needs of the Haitian university libraries. I cannot attach a list of titles to this message, so please contact me separately if you are able to donate works. The list concerns especially books in French in letters, agronomy, linguistics, odontology, health, psychology, history, geography, sociology, philosophy, physics, mathematics, computing.

For an update on the situation you can listen to the podcast of an interview (in French) of one of our former colleagues Jean-Euphèle Milcé, recorded in Haiti on Thursday by RSR

Thanks for your support

Kind regards

Danielle Mincio
Conservateur des manuscrits
Responsable PAC
Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire
CH 1015 Lausanne Dorigny
Tél +41 21 692 47 83

Earthquake Aftershocks in Haiti (via Repeating Islands)

“Haiti suffered two new aftershocks yesterday. Haiti has felt close to 50 aftershocks since the devastating 7.0-magnitude quake on January 12. The US Geological Survey, which warned the Caribbean nation could be feeling aftershocks for the next 30 days, measured the second tremor at 4.4. Edison Constant voiced the fears of all Haitians when he said, “We just can’t get used to these quakes. Each aftershock is terrifying and everyone is afraid.” For the traumatized people left homeless, hungry and destitute each new quake is a fresh reminder of the terrifying minute two weeks ago when the earth shook, destroying their lives.

Haitian leaders say the earthquake killed 150,000 people and left a million homeless with hundreds of thousands now dependent on handouts from a massive aid relief operation and living in makeshift camps. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended the US operation in Haiti from criticisms that it lacked leadership and had been too heavy-handed in the immediate chaotic aftermath of the quake.”

Read the rest here:

Earthquake Aftershocks in Haiti « Repeating Islands.

Haiti Earthquakes: More Updates

These are a only a FEW of the many updates from various sources.  For the most reliable regular updates from closest to the ground (IMHO), please subscribe to the Bob Corbett Haiti and Haitian diaspora listserv (send an email to corbetre at webster dot edu).  For regular academic updates please see subscribe to related listservs on H-Net.

From TransAfrica Forum:

Summary:  As the full scope of the damage wrought by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010 is revealed, calls for increased coordination and faster, more efficient aid delivery increase.  The outpouring of support from nations and individuals around the world has been massive and immediate.  Yet, getting relief to communities and individuals in need has been painfully slow.  Reasons for the bottleneck in aid delivery vary, but include structural bureaucracies, and a weakened Haitian government that has lost human and material infrastructure.   The latest barriers to aid delivery have been misinformation and rumors regarding the security situation in the country.  The priority for every country and agency working in Haiti must be the efficient and efficacious delivery of relief to communities in need. Thousands of lives are at risk due to delays in distributing food, water, medical equipment, and supplies.  Please contact the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) (www.usaid.gov/public_inquiries.html, 202.712.4810), which is coordinating the U.S. relief efforts.”

Read the rest here.

From Haiti Soleil:

“Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Message from Executive Director on the Earthquake in Haiti

Dear Friends,
As many of you know by now, Haiti was hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Pictures of damaged and collapsed buildings, including governmental structures such as the presidential palace and popular tourist destinations such as Hotel Montana, have been circulating all over the news and major online social networks like Twitter and Facebook. The offices of major international relief agencies have been toppled, making rescue efforts very difficult. Repeated images of little bodies under the rubble and bruised victims on bloody concrete streets have us all gasping in horror. The city of Port-au-Prince appears to be in ruins. Haitians in the capital are, needless to say, frantic. Many are now homeless, displaced and in need of refuge. Haitian Americans all over the United States are shocked and desperate to reach loved ones back at home. The situation is dire.
I was just beginning to recover from jet lag when I received the news of the earthquake yesterday afternoon around 2pm PST. I returned from Haiti this past Thursday after spending an entire month there setting up a small computer lab at Bibliothèque du Soleil, our community library in Carrefour-Feuilles, Port-au-Prince. My nonprofit organization, Haiti Soleil, received a generous grant from the Irene Scully Family Foundation to increase the services and develop the programs we offer at the library. We also received support and in-kind donations from the Center for Black Studies here at UCSB, The French Department at UC Berkeley, and individual donors for the library’s youth Christmas celebration on December 24, 2009.
December was a great month for the most part. Staff morale at the library was high.

Overall, many folks in Haiti were relieved that the country experienced a relatively quiet cyclone season. We were also very hopeful as we witnessed some visible signs of development (i.e., investments in the form of hotels and businesses, airport improvements, new airlines flying into Haiti, better roads, more tourist travel….). It is devastating that we are starting the new year with such catastrophe. Haiti does not have the infrastructure to deal with an earthquake and its aftermath. We have no idea how many lives have been lost, nor do we know how long it will take to recover from this humanitarian disaster. Tough times are indeed ahead for a city that is already dealing with overpopulation, growing bidonvilles (shanty towns), and environmental degradation.
I have not heard from my father, the staff of Bibliothèque du Soleil, and the friends in Haiti who support our efforts when we are there. I have been calling my dad repeatedly with no success. I talked to my father just a few hours before the earthquake over an unresolved customer service issue with a computer store in Delmas. Frustrated, I did not get a chance to tell him I loved him before hanging up.
The earthquake is heartbreaking news. I have been receiving a number of calls and emails from concerned individuals wishing to help in any way possible. I am heartened by those who have reached out by extending sympathies and offering encouraging words. For those who are interested in supporting direct relief agencies, please consider donating to organizations such as Doctors without Borders and Partners in Health. I hear that Fondation Connaissance & Liberté/Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète (FOKAL), a foundation that supports our library in Haiti, is also accepting donations specifically for relief efforts. Other organizations like The Lambi Fund of Haiti provide long term support. Small nonprofit organizations like Haiti Soleil are in need of volunteers interested in supporting educational development in Haiti.
The Board of Haiti Soleil is monitoring the situation in Haiti. As soon as we hear from the staff of Bibliothèque du Soleil, we will post a message on our website and send an email to our supporters.
In Solidarity,
Nadège T. Clitandre, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Haiti Soleil, Inc.

“The Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) expresses our solidarity with the people of Haiti whose lives have been irrevocably changed by the recent earthquake.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and survivors of this disaster, as well as to their families, loved ones, and friends across the world.  Given the historical importance of Haiti to the African-descended everywhere, ASWAD calls for immediate humanitarian aid and justice for the Haitian people.  We urge our membership to contribute to an organization of their choice.  A list of organizations can be found below.

The Haiti Emergency Relief Fund: http://www.haitiaction.net/About/HERF/HERF.html

OXFAM: http://oxfamamerica.org

Médecins sans Frontières: http://www.msf.org/

Partners in Health: http://www.pih.org/home.html

Save the Children: http://savethechildren.org

Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/

CARE: http://www.care.org/
or to the relief agencies established in your area”

From Elizabeth Dillon (via H-FrenchColonial):
Dear Friends,

In support of the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, I have started a fund-raising campaign, “Scholars for Haiti,” to collect donations for the aid organization, Partners in Health, run by Paul Farmer and Ophelia Dahl.  Please go to http://act.pih.org/page/outreach/view/haitiearthquake/Scholars4Haiti for details and please consider making a contribution (be it ever so small!) if you are able to do so.

I have also posted this as a facebook event, which I encourage you to attend as well if you are on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=255127517849  The facebook event will allow you to post links, if you would like to do so, and to follow some discussion concerning the historical dimensions of the current tragedy unfolding in Haiti.

Whether you are able to make a financial donation or not, I would be most grateful if you would forward this message to those in your own network of friends and colleagues, and encourage them to contribute to the relief of the current suffering of our neighbors in Haiti.

With many thanks,

*   *   *
Elizabeth Maddock Dillon
Associate Professor of English
Northeastern University
Boston, MA 02115″

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