MN Reads: "Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify" by Carolyn Holbrook

Jul 2, 2020


Carolyn Holbrook’s life is peopled with ghosts—of the girl she was, the selves she shed and those who have caught up to her, the wounded and kind and malevolent spirits she’s encountered, and also the beloved souls she’s lost and those she never knew who beg to have their stories told. “Now don’t you go stirring things up,” one ghostly aunt counsels. Another smiles encouragingly: “Don’t hold back, child. Someone out there needs to hear what you have to say.”

Author Carolyn Holmbrook is our guest this morning, talking about her book Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify coming out at the perfect time, and the one simple act of affirmation when she was in high school that she never forgot.

Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify is free to read online right now in the University of Minnesota Press Reading for Racial Justice collection through the end of August.

Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify by Carolyn Holbrook is published by the University of Minnesota Press, where you can find more information about book launch activities and events.

Carolyn Holbrook says the title of her book came from a line in poet Lucille Clifton's work, “at the cemetery, walnut grove plantation, south carolina, 1989."  You can read it along with two other poems of Clifton's here.