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Michele Norris: 2010 National Book Festival

Michele Norris: 2010 National Book Festival


>>From the Library of
Congress in Washington, D.C. >>Let me say, first of
all, that Michele is here with a couple members of her
posse who I have to recognize. One of them is from the
McNeil Lehrer News Hour. It’s Gwen Ifill who’s
right down here, who’s tried to remain anonymous. [ Applause ] I do that not only because I
love Gwen and respect her work but because she and my wife also
went to Simmons College and I have to be able to go home
tonight [laughing]. And also I want to recognize
another one of the great reporters of the Washington Post,
Athelia Knight. [ Applause ] Now, I had the distinct
pleasure some 20 years ago of hiring Michele Norris
at the Washington Post. And we interviewed
her at a convention of the National Association
of Black Journalists. And the person who was directly
responsible for bringing her onto the staff who worked for me has
most recently been the chief speech writer for Secretary of
State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Lissa Muscatine. And when I asked Lissa after
she had breakfast with Michele, So what did you think of her? She said, She’s incredibly smart. She’s really very good. And, when she talks, she sounds like
a black Lauren Bacall [laughing]. Because she has this deep
voice which, of course, those of you who knew
Catherine Rehm [phonetic], Mrs. Rehm also had a deep voice. You know, we’d say,
How are you, Mrs. Rehm? [Deep voice] I am fine. How are you? Okay. That will work. Catherine Wingus [phonetic]
does not have a deep voice. That doesn’t really matter. You know, the interesting
thing about Michele Norris is that we introduce her in the long
shadow of the current headquarters of the National Council
of Negro Women. And Michele, through her
work, has really been someone who I’m sure the pioneers
in that organization, Mary McCloud Bethune, Dorothy I. Height would be very, very proud of. Many, many reporters who
are really very good come to the Washington Post newsroom. Most of them do not win
the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. Michele Norris did. Most of them write — [ Applause ] Most of them write a lot of stories that no one really pays
too much attention to. Michele Norris wrote
stories that the President of the United States paid
attention to and talked about. And the fact that she writes now an
American story, American memoirs, her own memoirs which tells
us something about the nation in which we live, the good as well
as the bad is really a tribute to her and to a whole
cadre of young writers who are telling us very,
very important stories. Some 20 years ago, I had
the distinct privilege of introducing a young
promising reporter to the newsroom of
the Washington Post. This afternoon, with great pride,
I have the privilege of presenting to you an award winning reporter
and an author, Michele Norris. [ Applause ]>>Thank you, Milton. Boy, you know, when we
met all those years ago — we’re not going to
say really how many.>>Please don’t.>>I never dreamed that
I would be standing here. Milton mentioned a few members of
my posse that are in the audience. I have to call out some very
important members of my posse that are also at the fringe
of the audience over there: my husband, Broderick Johnson; [ Applause ] our son, Broderick Johnson, Jr. ; [ Applause ] And the littlest people
in my household, Norris Johnson and Asia Johnson. And they’re both saying, Mom,
why are you doing this right now? [ Applause ] And they’re with their god
mommy, Marcia Jones Ferguson. [ Applause ] I’m calling out my family because this is a —
this is a family memoir. And, in many ways, it’s
an accidental memoir. It’s not the book that
I set out to write. You see, I thought that there was
this interesting conversation going on across the country in
the lead-up to the election of President Barack Obama and
in the wake of his election. And I thought that this
conversation was not the one that you were hearing
necessarily on the evening news. It wasn’t the one you were
hearing on cable television. It was the conversation
that was out of earshot. It was taking place
in private spaces. And I wanted to try to
chronicle that conversation, to eavesdrop on it and then to
write a series of essays on that. When I began listening to the hidden
conversation in my own family, I began hearing profound things. I realize that my parents kept
certain things from my generation. There were secrets that they kept to
themselves, secrets they locked away because they didn’t want to
clutter our path forward. They didn’t want to saddle us with
their pain and their frustration. And at first I thought that
these things might be an anecdote in that book that I was planning
to write about other people and how other people
talk about race. But, over time, I couldn’t let go
of the things that I was learning. The more I learned,
the more I had to know. And the more that I knew,
the more I had to learn. These stories got up on top of me
and they wouldn’t get off my back. And so I had to pivot, and I wound up writing these —
this accidental memoir. And among the things I learned
was that my father was shot by a police officer in 1946
when he was a young man, when he had returned to Birmingham, Alabama after his service
in World War II. Now, you noticed that I
paused before I said that; because I’ve written the
book, I’ve told the story, but I never will get used to saying
that sentence, My father was shot. Apparently, he chose not to
say that sentence to anyone. He didn’t tell the kids. He didn’t even tell my mother. I learned of this only recently, and
she learned of this only recently. And, if you think of all the
conversations, if you’re married, you know what I mean; and if you’re in an intimate relationship,
you know what I mean. all the conversations you
have in intimate moments, how you think you know
everything about a person; and then imagine realizing
that something that monumental, that profound was kept from you. So, when I wrote this memoir, I wound up pulling family
members along on this journey. And they didn’t necessarily
buy a ticket. And so we had to lock
arms and do this together. My father, when he was a young
man, after serving in the military, in a segregated military at that
time, returned to Birmingham as did many black war veterans. Black war veterans were — black
World War II veterans were streaming into Birmingham and
many other cities. And they were wearing the uniform. They had a certain pride
after serving in the military. They had greater expectations. They wanted to participate
fully in civic life. They wanted to vote. And they faced in Birmingham and in many other cities a
white wall of resistance. My father was a postal worker. He was a very gentle man. If you met him, one of the
first words you would use to describe him would probably be
kind, maybe funny, probably calm. He was someone who liked
things a certain way. He was always dressed in
exactly a certain way. When he wore his postal
uniform, everything was laid out. When he went out, you could
practically cut your finger on the crease of his pants. He took care of his
home beautifully. He was very quiet, very reserved. But, in 1946 when a police
officer tried to stop him from entering a public building, a
building he had the right to enter, he did something that
was as surprising to me as learning he was shot. He stood up to that policeman
and he paid a price for it. A scuffle ensued. He was shot in the leg. I never knew any of this. My mother never knew any of this. But it turned out she,
too, had a secret. She never talked about
something from her past. Her mother, in the late 1950s —
in the late 1940s — excuse me — and the early 1950s had spent years
traveling the Midwest doing pancake demonstrations, dressed
up as Aunt Jemima with a hoop skirt and a head scarf. My mother didn’t talk about this because it made her feel
a certain degree of shame. Now, when I learned of this, I
didn’t immediately go to that place. I didn’t immediately feel shame. I felt a certain amount of
fascination and a great deal of surprise; because the
woman that I remember, the Ion Brown that I remember,
was someone who was very elegant. She always had pastel
dresses or church suits. She was very bossy, and she
used that to great effect to control her grandchildren
but also to do some great things in my hometown of Minneapolis. She founded a senior citizen
center that still bears her name, and she was always getting
awards from the city. And I remember, when I was young,
she got the key to the city. And she was fussing at mayor Fraser because something wasn’t
happening fast enough. That’s the kind of
woman that she was. She was always dressed to the nines. She would wear — now, some of you in the audience may remember
the days when women would go out and their shoes matched
their handbag. You would never, ever, ever wear
brown shoes and a black handbag. I have black shoes
and a brown handbag; that would be like a major
fashion faux pas at that time. So the shoes matched the handbag,
and the handbag had a little pair of gloves that kind of peeked
out over the side of the purse. And she always had like a silk scarf that would cover her
well-coiffed hair. And she would tie that
scarf underneath and very — sort of “Jackie O” style. But when I learned about
the work she had done, I had to imagine what it must have
been like for her to get dressed up as Aunt Jemima and wear
a different kind of scarf. You probably couldn’t
call it a scarf. Maybe call it a kerchief;
maybe you’d call it a rag. And she’d have to reach up behind
her head and put that rag back here and tie it up on top of her head. Now, I don’t know what kind
of hard bargains she made with herself before she dressed up,
before she hiked up that hoop skirt. But I was fortunate in
that I found a newspaper — I found some newspaper
clippings that described her work under the headline Aunt
Jemima’s Coming to Town. I saw her picture. And then it became very real for me. And I also saw what she told
a reporter at that time, and it was like her speaking
to me almost from the grave. And there was no shame
in her description. Now, again, I don’t know what, you
know, what went through her head when she was in front of the mirror. But, when she talked
to the reporter, she talked about how
she used that position to serve as a kind of ambassador. She had a six-state region:
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, the Dakotas, and Iowa. And, when she went
to these small towns, she knew that she was
facing an audience that didn’t see very
many people of color. So she spoke a certain way. She carried herself a certain way. She said that she would sing gospel
songs because she wanted people in these towns to know that she
was a church woman, “chuch woman,” as she probably would say. And she would speak in a way
that probably was quite different than the Aunt Jemima that people in
those small towns would encounter if they picked up a
magazine of the day. Because Quaker Oats, the company she
worked for, was a huge advertiser and they advertised in
all the women’s magazines. And the Aunt Jemima you would meet
in the women’s magazines was someone who wore the head scarf and
the hoop skirt but she spoke in a certain slave patois that was
totally made up by advertising men. Her catch phrase was lawd — her catch phrase was
“I’s in town, honey.” And she would talk
about “Lawsy [phonetic], my pancakes are tantalizingly
delicious.” And they would spell this out
phonetically so you could see that she didn’t exactly
use the King’s English. Well, apparently when Ion
Brown was serving pancakes, she did use something that was a
bit closer to the king’s English. So Quaker Oats, in that sense,
got more than they bargained for. My mother hated this story. She didn’t want me to talk about it. And I had to wait her out
because, once I learned about it, I knew I had to learn more. And I knew eventually it would
have to be a stop along my journey. And finally she started to
give me signals and clues that she was ready
to talk about this. And she started telling me
not just about grandmother but about her experiences. And there were yet more surprises. My father’s from Birmingham;
my mother’s from Minnesota. Her family has lived in
Minnesota for several generations. They were for a time the only black
family in Alexandria, Minnesota. My grand — my great-great-great-grandfather
was a barber. When she and my father purchased
their home on the south side of Minneapolis, the
home that I grew up in, they weren’t exactly
welcomed by the neighbors. Now, I didn’t know any of this. I grew up in a highly integrated
neighborhood; took it for granted, this little rainbow community on
the south side of Minneapolis. But it wasn’t exactly a rainbow
community when they moved in. They purchased their home in
1961, the year I was born. I guess I shouldn’t
say that out loud. [ Laughing ] But they were the first black family
to purchase a home on that block on the south side of Minneapolis. They were blockbusters. Now, in some cases, blockbusters
were recruited by the NAACP or the Urban League or
civic organizations. In this case, they were
recruited by no one. They wanted to live where
they wanted to live. They wanted to live near water. It being Minnesota,
there was a lot of water and they wanted to be close to it. They wanted to send their
kids to certain schools. So they purchased this house, stucco
Tudor house on the south side. And, immediately, every neighbor
whose property line touched ours moved out or at least
tried to move out. Because those that didn’t
move quick enough found that it was awfully hard to sell. I discovered these
stories by accident. My parents had been carrying
these around for years. But once I finally gave them
permission to talk about this — I never had the chance to
talk to my father about this. He took his secret to his grave. But once my mother started
talking about these things, through her strength
and through her wisdom and through her great courage,
she started to share her stories. And some of them were quite
painful; and some of them, frankly, were delightful. And I’d like to share one
with you, if you don’t mind. My parents moved into
their home within a week. And, as I said, the white families
whose property line touched ours soon put their homes up for sale. Three who owned houses across from
my parents also decided to decamp. As my parents celebrated
their new home with the picnic supper amid
boxes in the living room, their neighbors furiously burned
the dial: calling each other, calling my folk’s mortgage
lending to complain, and eventually calling
real estate agents to put their homes
up for sale pronto. Mom says she watched
the white flight with a mixture of anger
and amusement. The desperation of her new neighbors to sell gave her an opportunity
for a little mischief. Every time a real estate agent
pulled up with a prospective buyer, she would send my older
sisters, Marguerite and Cindy, out to play in the yard. [ Laughing ] Or she would saunter out herself,
holding her back or stretching out her arms — hmm — so
anyone could plainly see that another child was on the way. That child was me. My sisters and I never knew
any of this until recently, but now Mom loves telling the story. I’d wait until they got inside
the house and had time to check out the bedrooms and
look inside the closets. And right about the moment
I thought that they were in the kitchen giving
it a real good look see, I’d say to myself, “Showtime.” [ Laughing ] So I learned a lot of
things that made me laugh. Some of them tickled me. But many of them made me cry. Many of them made me curious. Many of them made me think
about the country I lived in and what I really didn’t
know or didn’t understand and how I was shaped, not just
by all the advice that I got from my parents and
the love and the wisdom but how I might have also been
shaped by the weight of silence, all the things that were never said. You see, I’m left with this image
of my father and his secret, of a man who was carrying
around a weight all his life, a big heavy 50-pound barbell
that none of us could see but he was quite aware of, dragging
it around and trying very hard not to let the world know
what was behind him. I see that image almost
like a shadow next to the man that I remember. And, when I went back and tried
to understand what Birmingham was like in 1946, I realized that,
despite the horror of what happened to him, that he was actually lucky. Black veterans were returning
to a country that they loved but didn’t always love them back. I learned that, in the
first six months of 1946 — excuse me, the first
six weeks of 1946, that period in which
my father was shot, that half a dozen black veterans
were killed by police officers in and around the city of Birmingham. I learned that, throughout the
year in 1946, black veterans around the country were beaten and
burned and maimed and castrated and lynched and blinded
and, in some cases, killed. In fact, it was the blinding of
a veteran named Isaac Woodard, three hours after he was honorably
discharged, that so moved, so incensed President Harry Truman
that he created a commission that ultimately led to the full
integration of the military. I did not know this. I’m ashamed to say I did
not know more about this. But what I know now is that my
father was part of a generation that experienced horrible things
but didn’t let that define them. I called my book The Grace
of Silence for a reason, and it’s not the just
because they kept silent about what they experienced. I realized that a group of
people, a cohort, really, that had every reason to
be angry at the world, every reason to be
disappointed, every reason perhaps to live their life as malcontents,
instead chose to look back not with anger — at least not
look back and hold that anger in such a way that it was manifest. They decided to look
forward with hope. They decided to show America what
they could be and, in doing so, decided to show America
what it could be by leading lives of utter rectitude. They put their hope and their faith
in their children, in my generation. And they chose not to arm us
with their rage but, instead, to arm us with their ambitions. They wanted us to soar. And, if you want your children
to soar, you don’t send them out into the world with
boulders in their pockets. And so that is why I call this
book The Grace of Silence. But I hope that you will
read it and buy it — that’s a line that bears
repeating [laughing]. I hope that you will
buy it and read it. And I hope that, when you
do, that perhaps you decide to exercise the grace of
silence in a different form, and that is to listen to
people in your own lives, to capture your own histories. The thread that runs through
this book is a simple question: How well do we really know
the people who raised us? You know, they keep things from
us not because they’re dishonest but because they want
the best for us. They’re very careful
about what they say. And sometimes when you’re
actually ready to capture that history, it’s too late. They’re gone. That’s what happened in my case. I had to go through this
anthropological exercise to find out what happened to my father. I’m lucky. I’m honored that I had the chance to
sit down and talk about my history with my mother and with
other elders in my family. So I hope that you will consider
practicing a special grace of silence in that sense but also in another sense: to
hear each other out. Because, in doing this work,
I went back and I tried to understand how life was lived
on both sides of the color line. I tried to talk about race
and racial attitudes today. And I heard things that
made my hair stand on end. I heard people talk about how
they hated people of another race; how they weren’t ready to have a
black family in the White House; how they thought that things might
have been better under segregation. I learned things and I heard things that I didn’t necessarily
agree with but I listened. And we don’t always do that. When someone says something,
speaks candidly, if they say something
that’s impolitic, particularly if it involves
race, we tend to bark them down. We send them back to their corner. How dare you say that. Sometimes we have to listen. Sometimes you have to go to
the table, stay at the table, sit down at the table
and remain there, even when someone says
something that you don’t like; even when someone says something
that might make your stomach turn. That is exercising the grace
of silence in a different way. And so I hope this book, in the end,
even though it’s called The Grace of Silence, may be the first step
on a journey that will lead you as individuals and maybe in
some small way us, as a nation, towards something called
a great conversation. And I’m hoping that we can have
a bit of a conversation today. I wanted to make sure that we left
time for questions and answers. And so, if there are any
questions, I’ll try to be as honest as I can in answering them. [ Applause ] Thank you.>>Hi. My name is Miss Martin. I, too, have found some
secrets in my family. My mother and my grandfather told me about something just
before they passed away. And most of my family are now gone, and I’m not married
with no children. And I found out I have a few
family members who’ve made history. But once I started doing
genealogy research recently, and I put it on the back
burner for a long time because it’s emotional — I now
have about seven family members who have made history in some way. And I can go back to
1600 now, my family.>>Wow. Good for you.>>Oh, my gosh. I’m so excited. So my question is: How
do you begin to write about your genealogy research? I mean, can you talk a little bit
about ghostwriters and publishers and editors and how do
you bring this about? Because I understand it can
be quite expensive to do. So, economically, I mean,
how do you get started with something like that?>>One sentence at a
time; one word at a time. I mean, I don’t know very
much about ghostwriters. I know that through self-publishing
and through the proliferation of smaller houses, it’s become
easier to get published as a writer. So I think that there’s
probably a lot of information that you can get even here at
the National Book Festival. But I can talk about
to you about writing because I have more
experience with that. And a writer writes. And it’s one word and
one sentence at a time. And we often think that
writers are those other people. For a long time, I did, even though
I swim in words all day long, first as a newspaper reporter, then
in television, now on the radio. And I tell you, when
someone gave me a badge today that said author, I almost swooned. Because I thought, oh! New adjective that
applies to me [laughing]. I mean, I’m not used to that. But we all have stories,
and we can all tell them. And so I just encourage
you to write. And, if you’re intimidated by a
blank page, write in a journal. When I did some of the
writing I did for this book, I had to find my authentic
voice as a writer. So sometimes I would
write in email form. I would pretend like
I was sending — literally, I would call up an
email window; and I would pretend like I was sending an email
to my husband, Broderick; or to my best pal, Gwen; or
to, you know, a family member that I was trying to
elicit information from. And I would write an email because
I felt free to use bad punctuation and sort of say the things
that I would normally say. And then I would cut and
paste and move it into Word and then turn it into English. So, you know, whatever you have
to do to tap into that voice; but I will say one last thing. A writer does write and a
writer writes every day. Because it’s a muscle; and the more that you use it, the
more that it builds. And if you don’t use
it, it does atrophy. So I empower you to
write your story. May the force be with you. [ Applause ]>>Hi, Michele. Thank you very much. It was very inspiring. I wanted to ask you a question
that involves the craft also. Was The Grace of Silence
your working title?>>No.>>How long ago did you start, and how did you get
that authentic voice? And I just need to
preface this by saying — talk about six degrees
of separation — I met Miss Brown by the River
Raisin in Monroe, Michigan.>>Wait. My grandmother, Ion Brown?>>Yes, yes, yes. Aunt Jemima was coming to town. It was my first year of teaching. I had just graduated
from Michigan State, and I was their first black teacher. And she spoke the King’s –>>Wait. You met my grandmother?>>Yes! That’s how
old I am [laughing]. Six degrees of separation here. Monroe, Michigan by
the River Raisin, okay? [ Laughing ]>>If it was your grandmother,
that’s who I met. Michigan.>>Oh, my goodness.>>And she spoke the
King’s English to me; because I’m wondering why is Aunt
Jemima here in Monroe, Michigan. I was the first black
teacher for the city. There was a first black
teacher for the county. We both ended up at the Episcopal
church, and they thought it was because they were nice to
us when that just happened to have been our religion. But the point I wanted to make — [ Laughing ] — is that it was Aunt Jemima
talking to me as a person that I “got it,” because I knew
she was making a living when she was doing that. And a couple months later,
I was asked to play the maid in a school play put on by
the Monroe school system. And I said no because
of Aunt Jemima. Because I didn’t have to
play a maid any longer. Just because she was doing that,
it was clear it was a role. And she didn’t have
any shame about it. She was putting food on
the table or whatever.>>Serving pancakes
and making bacon.>>Yeah. And she did not
speak a dialect to me. We had a conversation. So it made my hair stand up
on my arm to hear that story.>>Oh, my goodness.>>So I definitely
will get the book. So my question again was — [ Laughter ] What was your working title?>>What’s your name?>>Gloria.>>Okay. Don’t go way
when we’re done. We need to talk, obviously. The working title initially
was Say What? And that was when I was planning
to write this other book. And I liked it because
it had a double entendre. Among people of color, “say
what” is sort of a term of slang, like, Say what? You know, or sometimes
it’s incredibly, Say what?! And then it also was sort
of plaintive, you know, for people who were having a hard
time figuring out what to say. What do I say? Say what? Say what? I’m walking through eggshells. How do I say anything. But, then, when the book turned, it
didn’t seem like the right title. It seemed flippant, too much like
a game show almost or something. So we thought about You
Don’t Say for a time. And, actually, I was
with my children. We were hiking in a canyon. And we were so far away from
civilization, it was silent. And you could hear the wind create
almost like a certain kind of music. And the title came to
me, The Grace of Silence. And that’s where we are. And how did I find
my authentic voice? It was basically just trying
to write the way I write emails to Gwen all day [chuckling]. That’s how I told the story.>>Thank you.>>Two more questions.>>Okay. We can take
two more questions.>>Michele, I’m very much looking
forward to reading your book. My question is: How did your
reporting background and skills as a journalist inform
your work on this memoir? And, then, also, what were the
memoirs that you found inspiring or useful as a guide
in your own writing?>>That’s a great question. I had to shift my reporter’s
hat when working on this because I couldn’t
stand on the sidelines. I had to get inside the story. I had to begin a lot
of sentences with “I,” which I generally don’t do a
lot of in my role as a host. I’m a host, not a columnist. But it helped me do
a lot of digging. It helped me do the kind of
investigative work that I had to do to unpack this story. And I think it helped inform the
kind of story I ultimately told, in that I tried to understand
things from lots of different sides. So I very much wanted
to know what life was like for the police
officers involved in the shooting, where they lived. And I realized that their
lives were a lot similar, they were very similar to the lives that my grandparents
lived in Birmingham. And maybe if the color — the
color line wasn’t 100 miles high and 100 yards thick, they
would have seen that, you know, something of themselves
in each other. In terms of memoirs that
were inspiring to me, The Color of Water was something
that very much helped me, that the courage that he
had in telling that story. And my mother had given me —
actually, she didn’t give it to me. I have it [laughing], I should say. The book Eleanor and Franklin,
which is not truly a memoir. But, in that book, Eleanor
Franklin talks about the letters that she received from
service members. And I wound up going back and
looking at a lot of those letters. It’s not exactly memoir, but it is
a way of telling their own stories. And those two things really
did have a strong impact on me, the letters of the serviceman,
black servicemen, in particular. Thank you for your question.>>So you spoke a lot about
burdens that were not given to you. And so that’s kind of
like the negative space, the white space on the paper. What I’m curious about is — is if you can tell us
what messages you got, what positive messages you got from
your parents and your grandparents that have — that have — that have
driven you to where you are, I mean.>>You know, I think I
might have been a little bit of a different person if I had known
some of what they kept from me, particularly about the
Birmingham shooting. I went to Birmingham almost
every summer when I was a kid. Birmingham would have been a very
different place to me if I had known that it was the place
that my dad got shot. And so I didn’t — you know, I probably had a more
expansive view of the world. And when they would tell me
look for the good in everybody, it was easier to do because I
didn’t know about, you know, some of the things that
they’d locked away. I mean, though they didn’t
use the words of Gandhi, that was essentially the
message they passed on. Be the change that you
want to see in the world. They taught me to try
to be fearless. But, at the same time, you know,
they also did tell me you might have to work twice as hard
to get half as far. You might not meet people
who are always going to treat you with respect. And they basically said
ignore them [chuckling], because we expect great
things of you and we want you to expect great things of yourself. Thank you. [ Applause ] Thank you. One last question.>>What was the most astounding
thing you’ve learned in your career, whether it was positive or negative?>>The most astounding
thing that I’ve learned? Well, I’ve been — oh, boy. I’ve had several periods of great
astonishment over the past year. So if I had to say which
was the most astounding, I guess I would answer simply
that I am astounded every day that people are willing
to tell their own story. I tell stories on the
radio all the time. I ask people to tell me about
themselves or I ask them questions. And I’m always somewhat
astounded that they answer. And it’s a simple thing. But I truly am every day astounded
that Americans are willing to tell their story, less astounded,
though, as time goes on because, now that we’re in the
Twitter universe and maybe people are sharing
too much, like maybe, you know, there’s a few things we
don’t need to consider. [ Laughing ] My parents love your TV show
— I mean your radio show.>>Oh. Do they make you listen? Are you a prisoner of
public radio [laughter]?>>I don’t know but
I listen some times.>>It’s worth listening. If you want to conquer the
world, you have to understand it. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>And thank you all for coming,
and also thanks to Jennifer Ramos. And thank you [inaudible].>>Thank you. Michele Norris.>>This has been a presentation
of the Library of Congress. Visit us at LOC.gov. [ Silence ]

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