This Day in History

Jan. 12, 2010: Earthquake in Haiti

Time Periods: 2001 - Present
Themes: Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, World History/Global Studies

. . . this post-earthquake crisis
is not natural
or supernatural.
I want to talk about disasters.

How men make them
with embargoes, exploitation,
stigma, sabotage, scalding
debt & cold shoulders.

Lenelle Moïse, from “Quaking Conversation”

On Jan. 12, 2010, Haiti was hit with a devastating earthquake that took the lives of thousands and displaced even more‪.

As reported on Democracy Now!, the earthquake ultimately resulted in the deaths of roughly 300,000 people and left more than 1.5 million homeless in what was already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

A cholera epidemic, widely blamed on international U.N. troops, killed almost 8,000 people, making more than half a million sick.

Here is an interview with author Edwidge Danticat on the first anniversary of the earthquake.

On the third anniversary of the earthquake, Democracy Now! interviewed Jonathan Katz, author of The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster. (See below.)

The lesson, “Tè Tremblé: An Unnatural Disaster: A Trial Role Play Probes the Roots of Devastation in Haiti,” can help students read between the lines of the mainstream press and politicians about Haiti.

Learn More

Democracy Now! news coverage on Haiti

Social Justice Books list of children’s books on Haiti

Rethinking Schools articles and teaching ideas:

More resources listed below.