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Driving While Black

Nonfiction: Social Science
Unabridged   11.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 03/10/2020

Driving While Black

African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684577194
Digital Download ISBN:9781684577187


How the automobile fundamentally changed African American life—the true history beyond the Best Picture–winning movie.

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Product Description

How the automobile fundamentally changed African American life—the true history beyond the Best Picture–winning movie.

The ultimate symbol of independence and possibility, the automobile has shaped this country from the moment the first Model T rolled off Henry Ford's assembly line. Yet cars have always held distinct importance for African Americans, allowing black families to evade the many dangers presented by an entrenched racist society and to enjoy, in some measure, the freedom of the open road. Gretchen Sorin recovers a forgotten history of black motorists, and recounts their creation of a parallel, unseen world of travel guides, black only hotels, and informal communications networks that kept black drivers safe. At the heart of this story is Victor and Alma Green's famous Green Book, begun in 1936, which made possible that most basic American right, the family vacation, and encouraged a new method of resisting oppression. Enlivened by Sorin's personal history, Driving While Black opens an entirely new view onto the African American experience, and shows why travel was so central to the Civil Rights movement.


“An eye-opening history of the terrible discrimination practiced routinely against African American drivers... [A] powerful story... The author provides an in-depth look at the significance of Victor Green’s (literally) lifesaving Green Book... A pleasing combination of terrific research and storytelling and engaging period visuals.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Janina Edwards has spent over thirty years as a narrator, using her voice talents in many genres. Born in Chicago, she graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She gives an engaging and clear performance. Her pacing is excellent." --- Sound Commentary

Author Bio

Gretchen Sorin is distinguished professor and director of the Cooperstown Graduate Program of the State University of New York. She has curated innumerable exhibits—including with the Smithsonian, the Jewish Museum, and the New York State Historical Association—and lives in upstate New York.