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Real Talk On Race

Guest Speakers: Mark Sorensen & Dana Thomas


June 1, 2023
6:00pm - 7:30pm


Madden Auditorium




On June 3, 1893, a mob of 1,500 white people lynched a 33-year old Black man named Samuel J. Bush across from the courthouse in Decatur, Illinois. Mr. Bush was accused of assaulting two white women. Before he had a chance to defend himself in a court of law, the mob stormed the courthouse, abducted, and hanged him.

Mr. Sorensen will discuss the lynching epidemic in Illinois and how this helped get Samuel Bush killed in Decatur. Then Ms. Thomas will talk about the memorial marker being placed at the site. Followed by a Q&A.

Mark has served as Macon County Historian since 2004. He is a charter member of the Academy of Certified Archivists; past president of the Illinois State Historical Society. Dana Thomas, is the founder of the group Affirmative Activism. The memorial marker is sponsored by Affordable Activism, Walk It Like We Talk It, the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, & the Illinois State Historical Society.

Real Talk on Race meets the 1st & 3rd Thursdays of each month. RTOR is open to all and hopes to help build meaningful conversations and connections in our community.

RTOR has moved to a hybrid in-person/Zoom format for their bi-monthly discussions. Please register below or
email us at to get a link to the meetings.

By the process of having meaningful conversations, we continue to learn what it means to see each other as human beings, which is necessary if we are to find permanent solutions to the injustices related to "race" and to gain insights that will help us to better understand and respond to situations related to "race" that we may encounter in our everyday lives.