Marilyn Holifield

Cindy Seip

Marilyn Holifield, a partner in Holland & Knight, an international law firm, earned a B. A. in economics and a Concentration in Black Studies from Swarthmore College and a Juris Doctor from Harvard. Her legal career started at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. She was appointed General Counsel of New York State Division for Youth. At Holland & Knight, she became the first black woman partner of a major law firm in Florida.  Seven Sisters and a Brother (Books & Books Press) tells the story of seven women and one man at the heart of the historical eight-day sit-in at Swarthmore College in 1969 protesting decreased enrollment and hiring of African Americans and demanding a Black Studies curriculum. Written by the former students themselves — Joyce Frisby Baynes, Harold S Buchanan, Jannette O. Domingo, Marilyn J. Holifield, Aundrea White Kelley, Marilyn Allman Maye, Myra E. Rose Rose, and Bridget Van Gronigen Warren — Seven Sisters… also includes autobiographical chapters, providing a cross-sectional view into the lives of young people during the Civil Rights era. In the process, the book provides a necessary and overdue retelling of the revolution that took place at Swarthmore College. The actions of this group of students not only led to the school’s greater inclusiveness but also had an impact on universities around the country. The authors also share how friendships, out-of-the-box alliances, and a commitment to moral integrity strengthened them to push through and remain resilient in the face of adversity. 

Mini: In Seven Sisters and a Brother the eight students at the heart of the historical eight-day sit-in in 1969 at Swarthmore College recall a protest that led to change