As a diplomat's son, star athlete, and Harvard Law School graduate, in the early 1980s, Joseph Holland had a world of opportunities awaiting him on Wall Street and in corporate America. Instead, Holland moved to the inner city, driven by a divine calling full of unfolding mystery and challenge. He found himself in Harlem during the nadir of its blight and endeavored to contribute to a neighborhood that was tough in every sense of the word. A Republican among Democrats, a privileged Southern scion among working-class Northerners, Holland earned his stripes as an entrepreneur/activist embracing a vision of personal and community transformation.
A five-year sojourn became a three-decade commitment, as his Harlem-based career morphed from practicing law to empowering the homeless, to running small businesses, to writing plays, to serving in politics, to building housing all aimed at revitalizing a beaten-down, dream-deferred cultural mecca haunted by poignant memories of its glory days in the early twentieth century.
Part memoir, part cultural and political history of Harlem, and part vividly depicted tour guide, From Harlem with Love is filled with wittily mordant insights into a neighborhood that has touched the highs and reached the lows, and yet remains indisputably one of the most storied and vital centers of African American culture.
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This story was inspirational! I SO appreciated the perspective of years in a neighborhood showing a difference in the long term scheme of things. I want to be that sort of person as well but hearing about the discouraging times encourages me to keep on keeping on!
The mix of history from Harlem's history with present-day was a great educational mix to one person's experience!
Any additional comments?
Definitely worth the purchase!