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The Grace of Silence by Michele Norris


How much do we know about our parents? Which life experiences shaped their lives? Have they told you about them or kept silent? Have you asked? Some of the memories may jar your understanding of them, bring you closer to them, and aid you in understanding more about the society we live in.

Michele Norris, co-host of National Public Radio's All Things Considered, uncovered family secrets which greatly enriched her understanding of her own racial legacy. The campaign leading to President Obama's election started many conversations about race. In 2009, Norris worked on a multipart NPR series on race in America. As part of the process, while participating in her family's conversations, secrets were uncovered. Most notably, she learned that her father had been shot by a white policeman in Alabama and that her maternal grandmother worked as a traveling Aunt Jemima. This began a journey for information that resulted in her writing The Grace of Silence.

Norris grew up in South Minneapolis, raised by her two strong, hard-working parents to be the confident, accomplished woman we know today. Instilled in her was the constant expectation to "rise" and to "set your sights on excellence and opportunity." As an award-winning journalist and commentator, she did just that. Her memoir is a great read which may get you to say to the people who raised you "Tell me more about yourself." Who knows where the conversation may go?

Submitted by Linda V. @ Center St

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 16, 2011 8:47 AM.

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