Minnesota Historical Society

Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify

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The compassionate and redemptive story of a prominent Black woman in the Twin Cities literary community

Once a pregnant sixteen-year-old incarcerated in the Minnesota juvenile justice system, now a celebrated writer, arts activist, and teacher, Carolyn Holbrook has heeded the call to tell the story of her life. In a memoir woven of moments of reckoning, she summons stories born of silence, stories held inside, untold stories stifled by pain or prejudice or ignorance.

  • Paperback, 200 pages, 5 3/8 x 8 1/4
  • University of Minnesota Press July 2020

Carolyn Holbrook leads More Than a Single Story, a series of panel discussions and community conversations for people of color and indigenous writers and arts activists. She is author of Ordinary People, Extraordinary Journeys and Earth Angels, and coauthor with Arleta Little of Minnesota civil rights icon Dr. Josie R. Johnson’s memoir, Hope In the Struggle (Minnesota, 2019). Her personal essays have been published in A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota and Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota. She is recipient of the Hamline University Exemplary Teacher Award, the Minnesota Book Awards Kay Sexton Award, a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step grant, a Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Community Partnership grant, a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant, and was an AARP/Pollen Midwest 50 over 50 honoree. She teaches at Hamline University and in community venues. She is the mother of five, grandmother of eight, and great-grandmother of one.

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