The Kansas City Star posted an article this week about Michele Norris, co-host of National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” who has written a memoir called The Grace Of Silence. Norris unearthed two truths about her family. Her father had been shot in the leg in Birmingham, Ala., by a white police officer in 1946, and her grandmother had worked for Quaker Oats as a traveling Aunt Jemima in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Norris’ book came out about the same time the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported Ernest Withers, a civil rights photographer, also had been an FBI informant. Both stories made me think about how history is told, especially when it involves race. Withers’ family had no idea the man who had unfettered access to the civil rights movement and its leaders also provided information about the movement to the FBI. I am further intrigued because I know there is a strong possibility I will learn a family secret or two as I delve into race and family as I report and write my memoir.

I may have to pick up Norris’ book. Has anyone read it?

4 thoughts to “Good Reads

  • Luna

    this is interesting me because thus far everything we have found out about my biological father has no resemblance to reality. How many of us are living with secrets yet unearthed? And do we really want to?

  • b.

    I haven’t read her book (yet) but I may have to do so! Your topic reminds me of a Psychology Today article in the Oct issue (the issue about introversion) about coming to terms with the lies/deceits of those who have died. It’s a compelling read.

    I’ve also spent a good deal of time recently looking into the past. Digging around is hard work.

  • Michael Evancho

    You mention such a great things here and it is always pleassure to read. Hope to hear more and learn from you.

  • Augustine Guitierrez

    I’ve been following your blog for about 3 or 4 days now and I have to admit that I am quite fond of what you post.

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