Authors, Speakers, Humanitarians - They came from different backgrounds, one of privilege and another an immigrant placed in poverty and a broken educational and social system. But as both novels recount, they overcome insurmountable odds and their respective painful circumstances gave both the accelerated knowledge of the human condition with deep empathy to change it. Both humanitarians lead and fight together with purposeful courage to change lives and inequalities. Both dynamic speakers and authors alike, they are a refreshing duo whose main purpose is to change lives.
Other than graduating with the same BA in political science from different universities and years apart, the similarities were unapparent. They would not know of each other had it not been for NFL player Devon Kennard of the New York Giants. Kennard, an avid reader and a champion in getting our youth to read by starting his own book club called ‘Reading with DK”, posted St Germain Book ‘A Stone of Hope’ alongside Handy’s fictional memoir, ‘Walk Beside Me.’ In a time of football division, Kennard unknowingly brought the mighty pair together to unite.
New York based St Germain met with Handy on her trip to New York and not only did a friendship blossom but a collaboration was born. Likeminded in their passion to serve, they realized that many of their struggles paralleled even though the circumstances were quite different.
Both books are a must read as they dive into the harrowing look at despair, pain, suffering and eventual transformation and freedom. In an age when race and division is such a crisis, St. Germain and Handy offer a solidarity in peace, and a new perspective on how we can heal as individuals and a nation going forward.
Both powerful stories, but stronger together.
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