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Hope in the Struggle: A Memoir

$ 21.95

How a Black woman from Texas became the most prominent civil rights activist
in Minnesota, detailing seven remarkable decades of fighting for fairness in voting, housing, education, and employment

A memoir about shouldering the cause of social justice during the darkest hours and brightest moments for civil rights in America—and, specifically, in Minnesota—Hope in the Struggle shines light on the difference one person can make. For Josie Johnson, this has meant making a difference as a Black woman in one of the nation’s whitest states.

  • Author: Josie Robinson Johnson. With Carolyn Lee Holbrook and Arleta Marie Little
  • Format:  cloth/jacket, 200 pages, 29 b&w plates, 6 x 9
  • ISBN 978-1-5179-0444-9 
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press (March 2019)

Born in 1930 in San Antonio, Texas, Josie R. Johnson has been an educator, activist, and public servant for more than seven decades. Along with her work for the Urban League and the University of Minnesota, she has been office manager, campaign manager, and chief of staff for multiple political campaigns and public officials, including campaign manager for the first African American lieutenant governor of Colorado, and co-chair of the African American DFL Caucus in Minnesota. She holds degrees in sociology, education, and education administration. She lives in Minneapolis and continues to serve her community, advocating for equal rights and social justice.

Carolyn Holbrook is a writer, educator, and former program director of the Loft Literary Center. She teaches creative writing at Hamline University and is author of Ordinary People, Extraordinary Journeys, which profiles twenty community leaders and programs made possible by Leadership Initiatives in Neighborhoods. In 2010 she received the prestigious Kay Sexton Award presented by Friends of the St. Paul Public Library.

Arleta Little is director of Artist Fellowships for the McKnight Foundation. Prior to working in philanthropy, she was executive director of the Givens Foundation for African American Literature.

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