I thought of my auntie today as I completed the edit of Yolantha Harrison-Pace’s new book HAITI: The Aftershocks of Hope. For the first time since losing my dear auntie, I have been utterly moved by the passionate obedience of a woman to the spirit of God within her.
Standing at the granite memorial and amongst the bronze plates that adorn the trees at the small memorial garden, Peter Thomas can tell you about every name listed. It is a quality that seems to permeate veterans of the Vietnam Era who had been denied honor for so long by the politics of war.
And so for an African American, whether Christian or Muslim- opening a business is not as cut and dry as writing a business plan and dreaming of the riches to come. For those from families with ties back to slavery and the old south, a business is about a community, about a legacy, and about a promise.
Khair never forgot the lessons of his early childhood and wanted to share those lessons with a people he believes have forgotten where they came from. His biography “From Freddie to Freedom” is not just about his life, but a look into the journey that many African Americans still struggle through today.
The events of his childhood would shape the man who would later come home to lead a bank that was established to help the very communities he saw on fire. You see, five year old Erbert Johnson made a promise to himself to somehow make things better when he grew up. And from a child’s heart to God’s ears, it was a promise he planned to keep.