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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2020 Gretchen Sorin (P)2020 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about Driving While Black

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Eye-opening

4.5 stars material. Great informational material. After reading this book, it brought about a great conversation with my dad. In my opinion the book really does take one on a journey. A traveler’s adventure to important historically facts on what it was like to be not looked at as equal and the challenges ones face because of others ignorance and/or stupidity. It allows one to look through the lens of someone that may not look like “you” and challenges oneself to have empathy. I recommend it.

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Needs a good editor

The premise of the book is very interesting. And it does contain some good information, but very little of it. Therefore the author repeated herself over and over and over and over and over........ The book is organized thematically but the same material, often the same phrases, are repeated in different sections which makes the book seem very chaotic. It would have been twice as good at half as long.