Author and Musician Carolyn Wilkins Launches New Book, "They Raised Me Up"; Wilkins New Book is Filled with Inspiring Stories of Music, Family and Black Womanhood

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Carolyn Wilkins celebrates the launch of her her new book, "They Raised Me Up," on Thursday, January 30th, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. with selected readings and book signing at Boston's Berklee College of Music Bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.

Inspiring Stories of Music, Family and Black Womanhood

"They Raised Me Up"
A Black Single Mother and the Women Who Inspired Her
by Carolyn Marie Wilkins

Meet the Author and Book Launch
Berklee College of Music Bookstore, Thursday, January 30th, 2014 at 7pm

"An intriguing and beautifully rendered look at a group of women that is often overlooked.”
-Diane Harriford, Professor of Sociology, Africana Studies and Women's Studies, Vassar College

Kingbird Productions is pleased to announce the release of They Raised Me Up, the story of single mother Carolyn Wilkins’ battle to succeed in the man’s world of jam sessions and jazz clubs, and of the five musically gifted black women who inspired her. In sync with the release, Wilkins will be signing books and reading excerpts from They Raised Me Up at Boston’s Berklee College of Music Bookstore (1090 Boylston Street, Boston MA) on Thursday, January 30th, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Free and open to the public. Berklee College of Music Bookstore (617.747.2402) is wheelchair accessible. For additional information visit:

Wilkins alternates her own story with those of her ancestors’ struggles to realize their own dreams: Phillipa Schuyler, whose efforts to “pass” for white inspired Carolyn to embrace her own black identity; Marjory Jackson, the musician and single mother whose dark complexion and flamboyant lifestyle always raised eyebrows; Lilly Pruett, the stunningly beautiful daughter of an illiterate sharecropper; and Ruth Lipscomb, the country girl who realized her dream of becoming a concert pianist.

They Raised Me Up interweaves memoir with family history to create an entertaining, informative, and engrossing read that will appeal to anyone with an interest in African American or women’s history or to readers simply looking for an intriguing story about music and family.

About the Author: Carolyn Marie Wilkins is a Professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. She has toured South America as a Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department, performed on radio and television with her group SpiritJazz, and worked as a percussionist for the Pittsburgh and Singapore symphonies. She has released several critically acclaimed CDs of her original compositions and is the author of Tips for Singers: Performing, Auditioning, and Rehearsing (Berklee Press) and Damn Near White: An African American Family’s Rise from Slavery to Bittersweet Success (University of Missouri Press).

Carolyn Wilkins is available for interviews and appearances. For booking presentations, media appearances, interviews, and/or book signings contact Kristine Walker at King Bird Productions.

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Kristine Walker

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