1. The Grace of Silence: A Memoir
by Michele Norris
Quite frankly, this heartbreaking memoir in which the author wistfully recounts her family’s quiet and dignified way of dealing with racism and discrimination moved me to tears.
NPR’s Michele Norris describes lives painfully limited by the color line, including a litany of humiliations endured by relatives, well before she was born—such as the indignities suffered by her maternal grandmother while employed by Quaker Oats as a traveling Aunt Jemima.
Particularly poignant is the painstaking lengths Michele goes to restore the besmirched name of her late father. For following his honorable discharge from the military, after World War II, he’d returned to his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, not unreasonably believing he’d earned the right to vote by fighting for his country.