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Sheikh Balozi Zayd Muhammed, one of the earliest African American Talibe of Al Marhum, Serene Mortala Mbake, was once described as "one of the most towering symbols of the African personality within the African-American community". He has devoted his entire adult life towards the struggle for African-American empowerment and Pan-African solidarity and cooperation.

During the most difficult racial period in the American civil rights struggle in the 1960's, Balozi was intensely involved in the work of the famous Black Power Movement (BPM). As Founder and chairman of the Black Community Development Organization (BCD), a grass-roots cultural nationalist activist group, he helped to instill African pride and virtues in hundreds of young African-Americans and their families. Imam Liwaru was one of them. He was given his first name "Saidi" by Sheikh Balozi. During this period, Balozi reverted from Catholicism to Islam. It was during this same period that Imam Dr. Saidi Liwaru join his organiztion, BCD.

Balozi, whose father was an active participant in the Marcus Garvey movement, learned early in his childhood about his African legacy and pledged to lend his efforts toward helping his African-American brethrens to find their heritage long before the concept became popular. Since then, and for well over twenty-six years now, Balozi has dedicated his life towards building bridges between Africans and peoples of African descent. In this respect, he has initiated and cooperated with others to forge closer economic and political ties and consolidate cultural and social linkages between Africans in the Diaspora and the Motherland.

During the first of his ore than 100 trips to Africa in 1964, when he visited the United Republic of Tanzania as a personal guest of President Julius Nyrere, who named him Balozi (Swahili word for ambassador and/or statesman), Harvey's dedication to the liberation, emancipation, independence and development of the African continent has remained steadfast.

Since that history-making trip to Tanzania, Harvey has traveled the African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Senegal, Gambia, Nigeria, Mali, Cote d' Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Zaire, Ghana, Guinea, Egypt, Togo, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Morocco, Benin, Mauritania, and Sudan; the Caribbean Island nations of Grenada, Dominica, Dominican Republic, St. Maarten, Bermuda, Antigua & Baruda, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Criox, St. John, St. Thomas); the South American countries of Grenada and Brazil; and the Middle-Eastern nation of Jordan.

Balozi is the Founder/Chairman of the Essex County Pan-African Cultural Society.

His extensive background in international relations, business and public administration has provided new opportunities for minority professionals and technicians and small business persons throughout his career.

From 1970 to 72, he functioned as a Non-Govermental Organization Representative to the United Nations for the Congress of African People. While at the United Nations, the Goverment of Guinea requested him to serve as the Impressario in North America.

He was the Protocol Officer for the Honorable Kenneth A. Gibson, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey - serving as a Liason Officer between the commercial community of Newark and the United Nations in New York City, from 1977 thru 1982. Appointed as the Chairman of the Newark Export Task Force, his responsibilites included expanding export trade between Newark and Third World countries. Harvey is a former President of the Newark United Nations Association.

Balozi has shared his expertise and experiences gained in the international arena as a concultant to the Harlem Urban Development Corporation, from 1972 to 1982; Director of the Rutgers University Small Business Development Center, from 1978 to 1979; and consultant to the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials in 1982.

From 1982 to the present (1990), Balozi serves as Executive Director of the Harlem Third World Trade Institute, an international trade promotion agency of the New York State Harlem Urban Development Corporation (HUDC), which was established in 1982.

The goal of the Institute is the expansion of trade between American minority, small and medium-sized entrepeneurs, and Third World nations. Under Mr. Harvey's leadership, the Institute has facilitated international transactions and projects in excess of $30 million. During his tenure, eighteen heads of state and government in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and the South Pacific Islands visited Harlem as guests of the Institute/HUDC and the Harlem community. In addition, Harvey played a leading role in the hosting of visits to Harlem by four African Kings, a reigning African Queen, and over 400 high-level government and business leaders from across the length and breadth of the globe. In 1983, in recognition of his many years of service to the international community at the United Nations, Ambassador Oumarou G. Youssoufou, Executive Secretary of the Organization of African Unity to the United Nations and Ambassador Serge Charles of Haiti, led an array of United Nations diplomats, African-American public elected officials and community leaders, and over 450 "friends of Balozi" in a testimonial dinner celebrating Harvey's 20th year of serious Pan-African work.

Perhaps the greatest highlight of his life, "one of my proudest moments", as Balozi describes it, was his installation as a king (Nana Kablam I) of the village of Azuretti in Grand Bassam, Cote d' Ivoire, in 1988. He has been appointed as North American spokesman for Al Marhum Cheikh Mortala Mbacke, youngest son of Cheikh Ahmandu Bamba, founder of the Mourids of Senegal. The Mourids are based in Touba Senegal and have Talibe all over the world. Balozi's received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Seton Hall University in New Jersey, and attended the United Nations Language School where he gained proficiency in Chinese, Swahili, Arabic and Zulu. Balozi has six children: three boys and three girls - Angela, Karen, Zayd, Quami, Nurisha and Mwalimu.

2010-01-07 Thu 19:46:33 cst