Nashville remembers Yusef Harris, owner of Alkebu-Lan Images

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Posted at 7:24 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 11:34:53-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The long time owner of Alkebu-Lan Images, Yusef Harris, has died.

A North Nashville icon and owner of the book and cultural store is remembered for being a community leader and friend to many.

He was 66 years old.

Harris opened Alkebu-Lan 35 years ago. Through the years he's celebrated Black history and culture in Nashville and nationally. NewsChannel5 reporters have interviewed Harris numerous times through the years.

Whether about celebrations of Kwanzaa or the store carrying products representing President Barack Obama back in 2008, Harris was well known in the community.

His family and friends remember him as a kind man who was always trying to make people around him better.

"My father, he came into college during the black studies, black psychology movement," said Jordan Harris, son to Yusef. "[He] was very much a proponent of developing and exploring a culture derived from the black experience and to work towards exploring, expanding those concepts and ideas."

Harris's friend, Ashford Hughes, said he always lifted up his community.

"He knew the importance of [Jefferson Street], our HBCUs, the three that are on this corridor and ABC off West Trinity and the importance of making sure the city paid homage for the way that we spend money and the way that we move to make sure HBCUs were put in a prominent light. He was a part of that movement and that ideology in the city as well," said Hughes.

Harris earned his PhD from Vanderbilt University and even taught at Tennessee State University.