Driving While Black

Earlier this year I read an excellent book by historian Gretchen Sorin.

Driving while black, gretchen Sorin, African American, racial equality, travelDriving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights looks at the history of mobility of African Americans and the role the car played in expanding how far they could travel.

Sorin looks not only at the car, but also other modes of transit and lodging as African Americans struggled for equal rights to travel and access to amenities.

The book is filled with examples, both positive and negative, of driving while black.

Sorin discussed what cars were most driven by African Americans at different times throughout history. One example was why long distance travelers preferred to have large cars. Having a large car allowed them to carry needed supplies and also have a place to sleep in case they were in an area where they could not stay in a hotel or shop for things they needed.

There are also chapters in the book that discussed travel guides and how the The Green Book was essential for African American travel.

Driving While Black is well written and is based on extensive research. The author also include many personal stories of her own family and their travels by car.

I would definitely recommend this book and would not be surprised if it wins a Pulitzer Prize in History or Non-Fiction next April.



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