Download Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights Audiobook

Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights Audiobook, by Gretchen Sorin Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Gretchen Sorin Narrator: Janina Edwards, Gretchen Sorin Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2020 ISBN: 9781684577187
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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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A scholarly examination of the history of black mobility in this country from the antebellum period to now, including the ongoing quest by whites in power to deny or restrict that mobility.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Sorin’s engaging account of black motoring exposes a rough road in race relations but also a technology’s impact on black freedom. A great resource for people learning about black freedoms—and the fragility of those freedoms—in the automobile era and during the civil rights movement.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Through compelling and extensive interviews, illustrations, and evidence, Gretchen Sorin has meticulously documented yet another disturbing aspect of racism in our national life.”

    Kenneth T. Jackson, Barzun Professor of History, Columbia Universit

  • A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice

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About the Author

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.

About the Narrator

Janina Edwards, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, is a native of Chicago and a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts acting program. Her 2016 performance of Voice of Freedom was a finalist for the Audie Award.