It’s time to join the conversation with One Minneapolis One Read

One Minneapolis One Read events are beginning. This is the third year of One Minneapolis One Read, a citywide “read” which encourages the entire community to read the same book and join in a community conversation. This year’s selection is Gordon Parks’ autobiography A Choice of Weapons, which tells how Parks escaped the poverty and bigotry around him and launched his distinguished career by choosing the weapons given him by "a mother who placed love, dignity, and hard work over hatred."

One Read events

Book discussions

Discussion sessions have been scheduled at many public libraries. Visit for a listing of upcoming discussion events. Or, start your own conversations with family, friends, coworkers or neighbors.

Documentary screening

A free screening of the HBO documentary Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 8. The film showing will begin at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a panel discussion including the film's director Craig Rice, Parks' niece Robin Hickman, tpt filmmaker Daniel Bergin and The Loft Literary Center Associate Program Director Bao Phi. The screening will be held in Pohlad Hall in the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall.

Additional events are being scheduled. Check the One Minneapolis One Read website for updates.

About the author

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.

Where to find the book

“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.

Connect with One Minneapolis One Read



Twitter: @MinneapolisRead, #mplsoneread

Email: [email protected]




Published Sep 18, 2013



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