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 endeavoured to contribute to a neighbourhood 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 practising law to empowering the homeless, to running small businesses, to writing plays, to serving in politics, to building housing-all aimed at revitalising 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 neighbourhood that has touched the highs and reached the lows and yet remains indisputably one of the most written about and vital centres of African American culture.
Joseph Holland is a graduate from Harvard Law School and has a master's degree in history from Cornell University where he followed in his father's footsteps as an All-American football player. He is a lawyer, ordained minister, activist, actor and entrepreneur.