Lillian WHO? you might ask. Hers is not a household name, but should be. Lillian Smith reflected on her own white privilege in the Jim Crow South, deplored what she saw, and set out to change herself and the world. If you have ever wondered what you can do to address racial injustice directly, our next summer book club offering, A Lillian Smith Reader, edited by Margaret Rose Gladney and Lisa Hodgens, is a MUST READ.

As a writer and forward-thinking social critic, Lillian Smith (1897–1966) was an astute chronicler of the twentieth-century American South and an early proponent of the civil rights movement. From her home on Old Screamer Mountain overlooking Clayton, Georgia, Smith wrote and spoke openly against racism, segregation, and Jim Crow laws long before the civil rights era. Bringing together short stories, lectures, essays, op-ed pieces, interviews, and excerpts from her longer fiction and nonfiction, A Lillian Smith Reader offers the first comprehensive collection of her work and a compelling introduction to one of the South’s most important writers. Her most well-known works are Killers of the Dream and Strange Fruit.

Her legacy rests on her sense of social justice, her articulation of racial and social inequities, and her challenges to the status quo. In their totality, her works propose a vision of justice and human understanding that we have yet to achieve.

Join the discussion! Cathedral Canon Paul Williams and Diocesan Canon Lee Anne Reat will facilitate the discussion on Wednesday, July 29 at 7 p.m. Register at

But WAIT – there’s more!

A documentary on Lillian Smith’s life, Breaking the Silence, will be available to our diocese from Thursday, July 30 until Wednesday, August 5 by going to No pre-registration is necessary.

And that’s STILL not all!

On Wednesday, August 5 at 7 p.m., Hal Jacobs, director of Breaking the Silence, will join us for a conversation about Smith’s life and work. For this, registration IS required, register here.

The dates to remember:

  • Wednesday, July 29 at 7 p.m., Book Discussion: A Lillian Smith Reader
  • Thursday, July 30 – Wednesday, August 5, Screening: Breaking the Silence
  • Thursday, August 5 at 7 p.m.,  Conversation with the film’s creator, Hal Jacobs