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:

One Read

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.

For more information and to get involved, visit www.OneMinneapolisOneRead.com, www.facebook.com/OneMinneapolisOneRead, www.twitter.com/minneapolisread or email [email protected].

Published Apr 12, 2013



Contact us

Email updates

Find a service

About this site

For employees

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats, contact 311.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000.
TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-637-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500. 


311 call center

TTY relay service

City of Minneapolis Facebook City of Minneapolis Twitter City of Minneapolis YouTube ChaNNEL Minneapolis 311 Minneapolis 14 Government TV City of Minneapolis LinkedIn

Minneapolis, City of Lakes logo