“We average Americans simply do not talk enough with each other about things racial,” says Eric Holder, 82nd attorney general of the United States. Holder is the first African-American to hold that office and ranks as the fourth-longest serving attorney general in United States history. He is one of only three cabinet members from President Barack Obama’s original team, and the two Black men are truly friends and brothers.

Holder will go down in American history as an attorney general who fundamentally transformed the justice system and fought racism and corruption at every turn. As a young man, Holder loved the Department of Justice, and one of his heroes was Robert Kennedy. As an attorney general, Kennedy was always a force for that which was right, and Holder’s inspiration and mission came from the civil rights era.

Holder has always been a man of great courage, faith and conviction. As a visionary, he believed that a young African-American senator from Illinois would achieve greatness and be the first in his race to become the president of the United States. He has worked tirelessly in Obama’s first campaign, when Americans thought there was no way an African-American could win the election.

“I want to thank you, Mr. President, for the opportunity you gave me to serve and for giving me the greatest honor of my professional life. We have been great colleagues, but the bonds between us are much deeper than that. In good times and bad, in things personal and professional, you have been there for me. I am proud to call you my friend. I am also grateful for the support you have given me and the department, as we have made real the visions that you and I have always shared,” said Holder at his retiring speech at the White House.

Holder has spent 26 years working at the Justice Department in almost every level at the department. He has been groomed for his present position by joining the department out of Columbia Law School in 1976 and continued to move up the ladder with different presidents. He served as deputy attorney general under Attorney General Janet Reno and acting attorney general under President George W. Bush.

In the six years that Holder has been attorney general, his accomplishments have been many. He has fought fiercely to protect the human and civil rights of all Americans, with particular emphasis on ensuring that all Americans can exercise their right to vote. He has used the federal arm of the Department of Justice to fight against the Supreme Court, tea party and congressional Republicans.

He was the first attorney general in American history to be held in contempt of Congress, and the Republican Party tried to force him out of his office. He was cleared of all charges in September 2012 by the Justice Department.

During the attorney general’s tenure on financial fraud, the Justice Department has won billion-dollar cases and imposed new curbs on racial profiling. He also created a milestone moment by decreasing the federal prison population for the first time since 1982. Under Holder’s leadership, the Justice Department has been an advocate for justice and been involved with lawsuits in different states where defendants were not being provided with adequate counsel.

Finally, Holder will be missed by the African-American community because he understood what it meant to be Black in America. He has always been Obama’s alter ego, and many times he told the truth about racism where the president was quiet. Many times Holder was the tough cop, and white America could not understand him because he told the truth and fought for Black people.