Dr. Josie R. Johnson to release memoir

Acclaimed civil and human rights stalwart and educator, Dr. Josie Johnson will soon release her memoir.

“Hope in the Struggle: A Memoir” is set for release this coming March. Published through the University of Minnesota Press, the book answers “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.”

Johnson, the daughter of a Houston civil rights activist, has been on the front lines of the struggle for justice and equality since she was a teen, going door-to-door to campaign in Texas for the removal of a “poll tax” used to deny African-Americans the right to vote. A graduate of Fisk University in Nashville – a historically Black university – Johnson became an influential figure in politics, serving as chief of staff for multiple campaigns and serving as a Minnesota DFL delegate who cast a vote in the historic 2008 presidential election that saw the election of the nation’s first Black president, Barack Obama. She holds the distinction of being the first African-American to serve on the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents.

“Hope in the Struggle” chronicles much of her life and “shines light on the difference one person can make.”

Her memoir offers a close-up picture of what that struggle has entailed, whether working as a community organizer for the Minneapolis Urban League or lobbying for fair housing and employment laws, investigating civil rights abuses or co-chairing the Minnesota delegation to the March on Washington, becoming the first African-American to serve on the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents or creating the university’s Office of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs with a focus on minority affairs and diversity. An intimate view of civil rights history in the making, “Hope in the Struggle” is a uniquely inspiring life story for these current dark and divisive times, a testament to how one determined soul can make the world a better place. – University of Minnesota Press

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