Marcus Hardie, a.k.a. Moshe Hillel Eytan, recently published Black and Bulletproof, chronicling his experience as an African-American soldier in the Israeli Defense Force. A man who’s youth was spent in gangs, Hardie traded street cred for yichus: his grandfather liberated the Dachau concentration camp and subsequently taught him to view the Jewish people with special esteem. This sentiment led him to convert to Judaism and then begin his IDF service at age 28.
Hardie offers a shout out to Hillel for helping him further his path to Jewish self-discovery. His relationship with the state of Israel comes across as less cut-and-dried than other minority speakers on the Hasbara circuit.