Today, people have choices. But Harvey Keye was born and raised off of 29th Ave and 21st Place, Birmingham, Alabama in a lot next to a train yard in the 30s and had fewer choices than most. For poor Black people then, there were only two choices. Develop character and leave or stay and become a part of the background. Theses stark options were reflective of the times. Fortunately, Harvey saw the writing on the wall and left Birmingham. Harvey was the first person in his family to attend and graduate from college (Johnson C. Smith University). Later, he would become the first Black salesperson for Colgate Palmolive Co, own his own medical supply company, receive an MBA degree, work in Telecommunications for over 25 years, and eventually be elected twice to the NH House of Representatives. But to Harvey achieving goals is an empty promise without making a difference.

In 1999, NH was the only state in the nation which did not celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday as state holiday. The decision whether to make it a holiday or not would come down to a vote in the House. On the day of the vote, Representative Harvey Keye stepped up to the floor and delivered an impassioned speech, which helped punctuate for the House members the importance of their vote that day. The NH House of Representatives voted 212 to 148 on June 17, 1999 to successfully pass the bill. The act was meaningful to the state of NH and also meaningful to millions of Americans who believe that the contributions of Martin Luther King helped shape this great country in a positive and lasting way. Representative Harvey Keye was an important part of the catalyst that helped make it happen, so much so that NPR radio interviewed Harvey about his contributions on that day and his life (the
audio interview is part of this site).

Harvey is absolutely passionate about working to make our communities better. He has been a part of countless organizations, ranging from board member to soup kitchen volunteer and often times both. There are few people who have been so consistently focused on helping others and spreading positive energy about life and working together to make a difference than Harvey Keye.

Harvey has been married for over 50 years, has two daughters, two sons and eight grandchildren. A productive and happy life.
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