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In what became an intensely personal and bracing journey, Norris traveled from her childhood home in Minneapolis to her ancestral roots in the Deep South to explore “things left unsaid” by her family when she was growing up. Along the way she discovers how character is forged by both repression and revelation. She learns how silence became a form of self-protection and a means of survival for her parents - strivers determined to create a better life for their children at a time when America was beginning to experiment with racial equality - as it was for white Americans who grew up enforcing strict segregation (sometimes through violence) but who now live in a world where integration is the norm.
Extraordinary for Norris’s candor in examining her own complex racial legacy, The Grace of Silence is also informed by hundreds of interviews with ordinary Americans and wise observations about evolving attitudes toward race in America. It is concerned with assessing the truth of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s assertion that, vis-à-vis race, ours is a nation of cowards, for often what is left unsaid is more important than what is openly discussed.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Amazon Customer on 08-30-17
A wonderful memoir from Michele Norris
Michele's tone and cadence are soothing although the story is at times difficult to hear or painful. Her descriptions provide vivid pictures of her experiences and those of her family. Her family memoir is a captivating read/ listen. I am grateful she shared it. Cheers to the Norris family!
By Julie Pollaro on 03-18-16
I purchased this book on sale. I had put off reading it for over a year , no real reason I just had second thoughts after purchasing it.
After I started reading it l looked forward to my morning commute. It was a heart warming story which most middle class people could relate to. It gave incite into what middle class black families endured during the 40's,50's 60's, & 70's.