Discourse on Racial Difference: A Macon County IL Book Club

From founder Julia Roundtree Livingston:

My life and education have always brewed in me a desire to read about, educate myself and others, and have discourse about racial relations in the United States. Even though I’ve always felt well-informed on race and our country’s history, I could not gather enough information or perspectives on how racial difference has operated. As I’ve gotten older, my desire for more knowledge has extended into my wish for all to share in their own fill of this knowledge. I have always felt that if people only knew what race has entailed for others’ history, then responses to difference would be so much more copacetic.

My goal is helping others understand racial difference is tolerance. Due to the most current events in 2020, many emotions were running through my family and I began to wonder how do we all move on from here? In an attempt to just do what I could, I felt it vital for my community of Macon County to engage in a discourse on race. So, I swiftly began a book club which offers the opportunity to read an array of texts dealing with the Black experience in the United States, a history of race relations in the US and a door through which to begin discussing why understanding race and difference is vital for a positive move forward for our community’s future generations. We must educate ourselves so we can educate our homes.

Book Club Reading List:

Book 1: Race Manners by Bruce A. Jacobs, 194 pages, Discussion June, 15, 6-8 p.m.

Book 2: Monster by Walter Dean Myers, 281 pages, Discussion June 25, 6-8 p.m.

Book 3: The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson, 304 pages, Discussion July 13, 6-8 p.m.

Book 4: When They See Us, 4 part documentary series, Discussion July 23, 6-8 p.m.

Book 5: Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin, 200 pages, Discussion August 10, 6-8 p.m.

Book 6: Dear Martin by Nic Stone, 208 pages, Discussion August 24, 6-8 p.m.

Book 7: How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, 238 pages, Discussion TBA

Book 8: All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely, 310 pages, Discussion TBA

Book 9: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, 444 pages, Discussion TBA

Book 10: When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele, 263 pages, Discussion TBA

Book 11: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, 458 pages, Discussion TBA

How to Join:

Follow this link to join Facebook group. Zoom meetings require emailing jlivingston0815@gmail.com.

About Julia Roudtree Livingston:

Julia Roundtree Livingston is the Executive Director of Macon County CASA and the organizer of the Judy Mason Thanksgiving Project. Julia is a graduate of St. Teresa High School. She went on to be a student-athlete for four years at Southern Illinois University--Carbondale, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. She competed as a 4 year letter winner in the two sports of cross country and indoor/outdoor track. Julia stayed at Southern Illinois University to receive her Master’s Degree in English Literature. Julia finished her academic career at Florida State University where she finished ABD (all but dissertation for a PhD) in African American Literature and US Literature Since 1865.

As a Decatur native, Julia moved back to her home community with goals of making a difference, leaving an impact, and helping to improve her community. She has attempted to do this for 14 years through her community work with the AMELCA Food Pantry, Junior Welfare Association, and the Judy Mason Project for the past 10 years. Prior to her current position at CASA, Julia served as the Macon County CASA Director of Development, the Director of Development at Baby TALK, and an English professor at Southern Illinois University—Carbondale, Florida State University, the University of Illinois—Champaign-Urbana, and Richland Community College.

Julia currently lives in Forsyth with her husband, Stan Livingston, and their three children (Joella—13 years old, Stanford III—7 years old, and Silas—6 years old).