Common Experiences - Common Goals - Uncommon Results!
The Freshman Common Reader Program at the University of Houston-Downtown provides you, our entering freshmen, with an opportunity to start your college journey with a common foundation. It begins with the reading this summer of
My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past by Jennifer Teege and Nikola Sellmair. In addition to the Holocaust, the book addresses issues such as adoption, depression, family, friendship, race, and self-identity. Throughout this memoir, Jennifer explores the meaning of family. She asks, “What is family? Is it something we inherit, or something we build?”
You will receive a copy of
My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me at Gator Ready and information about writing contests with monetary awards.
(Click to play video)
Daughter of a German mother and Nigerian father, Jennifer was adopted at an early age. As an adult, she discovered in a library book that her maternal grandfather was Amon Goerth, the infamous Nazi concentration commandant portrayed by Ralph Fiennes in
Schindler’s List. The book, a translation from German by Carolin Sommer, interweaves Jennifer’s search for self-identity with a narrative by award-winning journalist Nikola Sellmair.
The story is about an intersection of Jennifer’s sense of personal identity and family history. She ultimately determines the following: "Everybody has a right to their own life story."