Community book read to be held

Published 9:49 am Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Albert Lea Human Rights Commission is hoping the community will come together to learn about other cultures via reading.

For the first time in its existence, the commission — along with the cultural liaison for the Albert Lea Public Schools Integration Collaborative — is sponsoring a community book read, in which everyone across the community is encouraged to read “The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir” by Michele Norris.

'The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir'

Then, on the evening of March 1, people can gather at Brookside Education Center to discuss what they have read.

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“We encourage people to read it in book clubs, in their families, at the places of worship,” said Mary Laeger-Hagemeister, who will moderate the discussion of the book.

Laeger-Hagemeister said the book read coincides with the Human Rights Commission’s Taste of Heritage event a few weeks later on March 31.

The book explores painful secrets the author finds out about her own family while exploring the hidden conversation on race unfolding throughout America during the election of President Barack Obama.

Laeger-Hagemeister said the commission initially selected to read “From Every Corner of the Earth” by Steven Roberts that highlighted 13 immigrant family stories; however, because that book was too difficult to get, they switched to Norris’ book.

Laeger-Hagemeister said “The Grace of Silence” is a Minnesota story, and the author is from Minneapolis.

It is available for checkout through the Albert Lea Public Library through e-download and hard copy or for purchase from Book World in the Northbridge Mall.

Laeger-Hagemeister said if the book read is a success the Human Rights Commission may consider planning a similar event each year.