Driving While Black
Bloomberg • Best Nonfiction Books of 2020: "[A] tour de force." The basis of a major PBS documentary by Ric Burns, this “excellent history” (The New Yorker) reveals how the automobile fundamentally changed African American life.
Driving While Black demonstrates that the car—the ultimate symbol of independence and possibility—has always held particular importance for African Americans, allowing black families to evade the dangers presented by an entrenched racist society and to enjoy, in some measure, the freedom of the open road. Melding new archival research with her family’s story, Gretchen Sorin recovers a lost history, demonstrating how, when combined with black travel guides—including the famous Green Book—the automobile encouraged a new way of resisting oppression.
Genre: Historical Non-Fiction