Celebrate One Read at Oct. 7 reception

All City employees are invited to a gallery reception for One Minneapolis One Read, a community read where everyone in Minneapolis is invited to read the same book and join the conversation.

The book selected for this year’s citywide “read” is A Choice of Weapons, Gordon Parks’ autobiography which tells of his escape from poverty and bigotry. Parks, a photographer for Life magazine, writer, composer, artist, and filmmaker, was 16 when he moved from Kansas to Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1928.

Gallery reception and program

Monday, Oct. 7
5 – 6:30 p.m.
Hennepin County Government Center, Public Service (skyway) level
300 S. 6th Street

Meet Robin Hickman, great-niece of Gordon Parks; Wing Young Huie, author of the book’s foreword and photographer; and Steve Floyd, photographer.

The event will be hosted by Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman and Minneapolis City Council Member John Quincy and is sponsored by the Hennepin County Board, Hennepin County Libraries, Minneapolis Public Schools and the City of Minneapolis.

Additional One Read events

Oct. 8 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.

Oct. 24 photography exhibit opening reception and panel discussion

Two exhibits will include photographic works by Gordon Parks on loan from the Gordon Parks Foundation and works by students participating in the One Minneapolis One Read photography residency at Juxtaposition Arts. The students will work with nationally acclaimed photographer Jamel Shabazz using inspiration from Gordon Parks. RSVP to [email protected] or 612-673-2509.

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

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

About the book and the author

Gordon Parks’ autobiography A Choice of Weapons 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."

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

Website: www.OneMinneapolisOneRead.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OneMinneapolisOneRead

Twitter: @MinneapolisRead, #mplsoneread

Email: [email protected]


Published Oct 2, 2013



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