Minneapolis will read “A Choice of Weapons” for third year of community read
The next One Minneapolis One Read book will be “A Choice of Weapons” by Gordon Parks. This will be the third year of the citywide “read,” where the entire community is encouraged to read a single book and join in a community conversation. To help identify books that would be a good choice for the community read, the public submitted more than300 recommendations. “A Choice of Weapons” was among the titles that came from the public.
Read the book
This compelling autobiography, first published in 1966, tells how Parks managed to escape the poverty and bigotry around him and launch his distinguished career by choosing the weapons given him by "a mother who placed love, dignity, and hard work over hatred."
Gordon Parks (1912 – 2006) – photographer for Life magazine, writer, composer, artist and filmmaker – was only 16 in 1928 when he moved from Kansas to Saint Paul, Minn., after his mother's death. There, homeless and hungry, he began his fight to survive, to educate himself, and to "prove my worth." Working as a janitor, railroad porter, musician, or basketball player in such places as Saint Paul, Chicago and New York, Parks struggled against poverty and racism. He taught himself photography with a secondhand camera, worked for black newspapers, and began to document the poverty among African Americans on Chicago's South Side. Then his photographic work brought him to Washington, D.C., as first a photographer with the federal Farm Security Administration and later a war correspondent during World War II.
Serving on the book selection committee were:
Jocelyn Hale, executive director, The Loft Literary Center
Carolyn Holbrook, instructor, Minneapolis Community & Technical College; adjunct assistant professor of English, Creative Writing, Dept. of English, Hamline University
Eric Lorberer, editor, Rain Taxi
Char Myers, director of Professional Development and Assessment, Minneapolis Public Schools
John Quincy, council member, Minneapolis City Council
Lois Langer Thompson, library director, Hennepin County Library
At its heart, One Minneapolis One Read is a community-driven effort with individuals, neighborhood groups, educators, businesses and nonprofits all coming together to make this a truly citywide read.
"A Choice of Weapons" is available in paperback at local independent and chain bookstores, online booksellers and Minnesota Historical Society Press. It’s also available through Hennepin County Library.
Join the conversation: get involved
Now that the book selection has been announced, you can get involved by engaging your family, school, workplace and book club by reading the book. This fall, there will be events and opportunities to join in conversations about the book. Neighborhood groups, book clubs, libraries, literary centers and others can get involved by holding public events where folks can come together to discuss the book.
The City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Schools are promoting literacy and respectful public dialogue in this initiative. Minneapolis residents can play a positive role in their communities and explore important – sometimes difficult – issues that they face as a community by reading “A Choice of Weapons” and getting involved.
One Minneapolis One Read is a collaboration of the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Schools in partnership with Tom Braun, Clear Channel Outdoor, Comcast, GoKart Labs, Gray Plant Mooty, Guthrie Theater, Kelber Catering, KFAI Radio, kreativesmith, Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. Attorneys at Law, The Loft Literary Center, McFarland Communications, McGrann Shea Carnival Straughn & Lamb Chartered, Metro Transit, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, the Minneapolis Convention Center, The Minneapolis Foundation, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Minnesota Historical Society Press, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), Rain Taxi, The Federal Reserve and the YWCA of Minneapolis.
Published Apr. 12, 2013