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
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
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