I had no idea how very astute she truly is ntil now This is a heartfelt memoir about Michele Norris family and her work with covering race relations in America I saw Michele speak at a conference during which she discussed the Race Card Project I was so interested in her talk that I immediately downloaded her book I appreciated the stories about her childhood in Minnesota and the research she did trying to Getting Out (Getting Out uncover secrets in her own family history Recommended I have been wanting to read THE GRACE OF SILENCE for some time having grownp in what I call South Scandinavian Minneapolis a BlackChinese girl passing for white Although Michele Norris didn t delve into growing Getting Closer (Getting Out up in South Minneapolis as much as I was hoping I wasn t disappointed She recorded history that made me realize there is so much I don t know Her attention to detail has given me much toestion especially how different was it for my Chinese father who also served in the Navy during World War II than it was for her father My father went to every Navy reunion he could He was a dispatcher why wasn t he relegated to cook My father had two young children at home yet he volunteered to enlist at a time when the war was almost over What didn t my father tell meI was born in 1948 I came of age in the 60s I d like to think my mother s silence was the grace of silence but was it I couldn t go to football games at other schools because there might be a race riot but what was race What was a riot On television I saw people dressed in white sheets and fires burning but what did it have to do me I have spent my life trying to know who I am based on race gender class etc I myself well yet after reading THE GRACE OF SILENCE by Michele Norris I realize I have to Valencia and Valentine understand based on what I didn t know I didn t know I am a writer I believe in conjuring stories and recording them Certainly for ourselves to gain a betternderstanding of who we are but also for others because they are listening and learning and relating I read this book in a rush skimmed it really when the person who was supposed to interview Michele Norris National Public Radio All Things Considered fell ill and I replaced her It s not a great book but Michele Norris is charming and articulate and I ve been a fan for a long time She was even better in person The book is a memoir about her own family and the stories they never told her about their own experiences with race and racism in America a silence she thinks common to families not only on the subject of race The grace she says was in trying to protect her from the pain and anger they experienced always keeping things positive and p beat in her family so she would feel none of the constraints of discrimination She admits she benefited from this but regrets that she learned her family s stories so late in life and rges others to encourage their elders to tell family s stories so late in life and My Wings urges others to encourage their elders to tell stories It s an interesting and relatively engaging book but not a great book It resonated with me particularly because of Sheehan s work on his grandfather s story and yes because I love Michele Norris We hit it off personally and the interview was good and fun for the audience and me as well as for Michele she said The scheduled interviewer who fell ill criticized the book for lacking context focusing on the family story without really placing it in a broader historical context That s or less true but not a huge short coming I think And she did contextualization in her talk and interview particularly in how the election of Obama precipitated the conversation Ul family secrets that compelled her toestion her own self Enathu Suya Saritham understanding from her father’s shooting by a Birmingham police officer weeks after his discharge from the navy at the conclusion of World War II to her maternal grandmother’s peddling pancake mix as an itinerant Aunt Jemima to white farm women in the Midwest In what became a profoundly personal and bracing journey into her family’s past Norris traveled from her childhood home in Minneapolis to her ancestral roots in the Deep South to explore the reasons for the “things leftnsaid” by her father and mother when. .
Review The Grace of SilenceIthin her own family and others
Michele Norris journalist and former host of NPR s All Things Considered among many other accomplishmentsNorris journalist and former host of NPR s All Things Considered among many other accomplishments written a tender loving honest book that is for anyone who cares about the people in their lives and the future of the United States Eual parts memoir and reflection on race in America this book will likely open your eyes to things you never knew about I had no idea for example of how the returning black veterans of WWII were treated horribly and how their response to the denial of their rights and the violence they endured at the hands of police and other authorities helped lay the groundwork for the Civil Rights movementNorris is a lyrical writer who weaves the story of her beloved family into the cloth of America with skill and sensitivity I recommend this one highly Wow Every American should read this book It s
SO MUCH THAN IT APPEARS TO BE ON FIRSTmuch than it appears to be on first The reader expects a family memoir and that is provided along with crucial and little known American history This book contains so much elegant wisdom elouently told Further it asks Edificios mágicos us to do to be tonderstand I ve been listening to Michele Norris on NPR for years without knowing anything about her You won t find much that s current about her and her work in this book but you can find that online What you ll find
precious gems for living wellAll that said this book will be loved by mature readers Immature readers or those don t accept responsibity nor have an appreciation of the give and take of all kinds of communities including family won t get it But then I don t think Michele was writing for those audiences She has a remarkable family full of grace and they re still passing it down through generations Oh that we all possessed such grace Don t miss a word of this book It s the sort I ll read again and give as gifts The author examines race relations comparing her coming of age in the 70 s and her father s coming of age in the 40 s She grew Die Pharaonin up in Minneapolis Minnesota and her father grewp in the south I enjoyed her bio It was somewhat Something Radiates unusual in that she grewp in a middle class neighborhood and didnt seem to have financial problems Her father s story centers around his time in the service and the fact that he was shot in the leg by a policeman after his duty in WWII This really throws her for a loop and she feels a need to investigate what actually happened I thought it was a good story but would have liked her to focus on her own story than her father s Michele Norris the cohost of NPR s All Things Considered writes about the lack of honest conversation about race in the United States Before interviewing others on the subject she comes to realize that her own family had not been open on the subject Norris discovered that her father had been shot by a white Birmingham police officer just a few weeks after his discharge from the Navy after serving in World War II He never mentioned the episode to either his wife or his daughter but shortly after the incident he moved from Alabama to Minnesota Norris also Viking Slave (The Beast Kings Slave, uncovered the story that her maternal grandmother toured the Midwest dressed as Aunt Jemima demonstrating the wonders of pancake mix After reading this book I think that the most thought provokingestion Norris asks is What s been corrosive to the dialogue on race in America over the last half century or so things said or Bonsai from the Wild unsaid Her answer is that the conversations about race should begin at our own dinner tables with our families and then extend to our friends and associates I have to agree. She was growingp the better to come to terms with her own identity Along the way she discovered how her character was forged by both revelation and silence Extraordinary for Norris’s candor in examining her own racial legacy and what it means to be an American The Grace of Silence is also informed by rigorous research in its evocation of time and place scores of interviews with ordinary folk and wise observations about evolving attitudes at once encouraging and disturbing toward race in America today For its particularity and niversality it is powerfully moving a tour de for. ,are precious gems for living wellAll that said this book will be loved by mature readers Immature readers or those
I enjoyed reading this rich insightful and top notch memoir The author s father came from segregated Birmingham Alabama and she spends much of the book researching the circumstances of the city cops shooting her father after he returned home from his military service in World War Two Sound familiar She provided me with another look into what it s like to live as an African American in the USA which is what I was seeking Norris is about my age and like me grew p in the Midwest her Minnesota to my Illinois in a middle class family We re both also the
YOUNGEST OF THREE GIRLS YET INof three girls Yet in ways our childhoods couldn t be different Both my parents grew p in relative poverty and from a young age were well of the limitations of their class my dad never had to worry about being targeted for harassment by cops because of the color of his skin He never had to suffer the indignity of being called boy after serving honorably in WWII He wasn t automatically assigned to kitchen duty when he joined the Navy And he never had to watch neighbors avoid meeting his eyes or place a for sale sign after he moved into an all white residential district I m sure both my parents now in their 80s still carry secrets that for whatever reason they have chosen not to share with me But nlike those in Norris family none of our family s secrets however painful were ever even remotely tied to race Norris is a fine writer and I came away from this memoir with a greater The Diary of Jack the Ripper understanding of what it is like to grewp black Far from an angry diatribe about the Brendas Private Swing unfairness of discrimination this book is than anything a loving tribute to her late father a postal worker Despite the indignities mentioned above Belvin Norris remained an optimistic and proud man who passed on to his children hard working ethics The title of this memoir is also a tribute to her parents and the other adults of her childhood who kept silent about past indignities in part because they saw littlese for sharing them with tne next generation and in part because they had wisely long since forgiven the people behind those indignities Norris has made it clear here and in interviews about the book that it behooves Real Service us to seek out our elders stories before they are gone forever There is so much to learn from their challenges and the steps they took to meet them But she also wantss to see her appreciation of and admiration for these people s decisions to keep their past hurts to themselves Their silence is grace personified and it should be acknowledged She does that here admirably This book DOES read like a novel in many ways as other reviewers have mentioned I think what particularly appealed to me about this memoir was the many insights she offered about a significant era in our civil rights history one that as Ms Norris observes is often overlooked The veterans of WWII DID set the stage for future #successes and paid a painful price in the process I love the family and history mixIt may not appeal as #and paid a painful price in the process I love the family and history mixIt may not appeal as to those who weren t a part of the sixties and the struggles of that time but it SHOULD be known by younger generations as well I am one of those she mentions who is guilty of focusing on slavery and its immediate afermath and then skipping right to the sixties I ve taught both of those time periods for years while neglecting this middle piece Thank you Michele for teaching me She includes some tough observations about the ramifications of these earlier changes on today s culture as well Michele Norris is an accomplished reporter I ve known that for years but. In the wake of talk of a “postracial” America Crown Mitre upon Barack Obama’s ascension as president of the United States Michele Norris cohost of National Public Radio’s flagship program All Things Considered set out to write through original reporting a book about “the hidden conversation” on race that isnfolding nationwide She would she thought base her book on the frank disclosures of others on the subject but she was soon disabused of her presumption when forced to confront the fact that “the conversation” in her own family had not been forthright Norris nearthed painf. .