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Author Candacy Taylor on her book, "Overground Railroad"

More than half a century ago, when Black Americans wanted to travel for business or pleasure, a remarkable amount of planning was involved. Families just couldn’t pack up the car and go; they sometimes spent weeks mapping out where it was safe to stop, eat, and get gas while traveling through segregated and hostile cities and states. How did they know where they’d be welcome? The Green Book – a so-called travel guide for Black Americans – provided answers.

In her book, “Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America,” author Candacy Taylor explores the history and impact of the Green Book. Published from 1936-1967, editions of the book listed lodging, restaurants, fuel stations, theaters, and nightclubs that were safe for Black travelers to visit. Taylor’s book also details how Jim Crow laws and racist policies shaped American communities today.

Taylor is the keynote speaker at this year’s Susan B. Anthony Birthday Celebration. She joins us for the hour to discuss her work, what we can learn from the history of the Green Book, and how those lessons apply to present and future America.

Our guests:

Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.