Duly Noted

Warner Norcross selects The Home Place for One Book, One Firm



Warner Norcross + Judd LLP has selected The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham as the 2018 choice for its One Book, One Firm series.

The One Book, One Firm program explores diversity and inclusion issues during a summer lunch-and-learn program. Diversity Partner Rodney Martin launched the annual event in 2008 to model the success of community reading programs that encourage all residents of a city to read and discuss the same book.

Lanham, a professor of ornithology at Clemson University, is a rarity – a black bird-watcher. In The Home Place, he shares the story of growing up on a rural South Carolina farm, where he developed an intense connection with the natural world.
“This beautifully written memoir allows us to walk with the author as he examines his family history and the role that land and race have played in his journey,” Martin explained. “Lanham believes that a connection with nature offers a ‘better, wilder way’ for persons of color who have become separated from the land.”

In his book, Lanham writes, “The chances of seeing someone who looks like me while on the trail are only slightly greater than those of sighting an ivory-billed woodpecker.”

He continues, “...each of us are so much more than the pigment that orders us into convenient compartments of occupation, avocation or behavior. The best way of reconnecting humanity’s heart, mind and soul to nature is for us to share our individual stories.”

Lanham is an award-winning professor at Clemson, where he has taught for more than 20 years. In his work, he evaluates how forest management impacts wildlife and how people think about nature. Specifically, he seeks to make conservation science relevant to others in ways that are evocative and understandable and has delivered his findings to international audiences. The Home Place is the widely published author and award-nominated poet’s first solo book.

Previous selections for One Book, One Firm have included: Choosing Civility, by P.M. Forni; The Arrival, by Shaun Tan; Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange History of Integration of America, by Tanner Colby; Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, by Bich Minh Nguyen, by a former Grand Rapidian, which was also chosen as the 2009-2010 Great Michigan Read; and The Female Vision: Women’s Real Power at Work by Sally Helgesen and Julie Johnson.

More information is available at http://diversity.wnj.com.

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