When you lose an influential person in Nashville that affected so many people, it’s like you lose a family member. Plenty felt that way when news began to spread of the passing of Dr. Yusef Harris in Nashville.
“Yusef, thank you for letting me sell my books in your store. For helping me read about things I never was able to know if my parents didn’t tell me or show me. Because the elementary, middle or high schools I went to made sure I would never know about the value of my people. Thank you for being, in the words of what Thaxton Abshalom Waters said, ‘A cornerstone of our community.’ You will sorely be missed.” – Eric Brown, Author and Nashville native
“I started working with him four years ago while I was the Marketing Director at RH Boyd Publishing Company. The thing I remember most about him was that he loved the Nashville community and was extremely dedicated to educating everyone in it on every level (mind, body, and spirit). He believed that unity and strength were obtained through knowledge and for 35 years he and his store were a beacon for that cause.” – Catherine Tyler, Marketing Account Director (Industrial Strength Marketing)
“His legacy will live on forever as one of Nashville’s great leaders. Dr. Yusef Harris passion for his community and culture will never be forgotten.” – Monchiere’ Holmes-Jones, Chief Brand Curator of MOJO Marketing PR
As you can tell with the words said, Dr. Yusef Harris was a special man. His store, Alkebu-Lan Images Bookstore, has been around for years and was a staple in Nashville. As Eric stated above, he had books in there that invested in Black people and helped spread knowledge. Dr. Harris was very heavily invested in the Nashville community and more specifically, North Nashville.
With him passing away, you could feel the collective sigh across the city. He not only had knowledge in his store but he was very giving of his time to try and further educate those who were willing to take it all in. He was truly a pillar of the community in Nashville and his presence will sorely be missed.
Even though he is no longer here with us, Dr. Yusef Harris’ impression on Nashville will never be forgotten. From the knowledge he passed on, the spirit he lived with and the mission he set out to do, his spirit is embedded not only in this city but in the people that he touched throughout his illustrious life. Gone but never forgotten, Dr. Yusef Harris.