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Driving the Green Book

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, July 27, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1L0404
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Janée Woods Weber (left), Alvin Hall (right)

Hit the road with award-winning journalist Alvin Hall and social justice trainer Janée Woods Weber as they document their 12-day, 2,021-mile road trip from Detroit to New Orleans inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book, the historic guide (published 1936—1967) African Americans relied on to travel safely at the height of segregation and the Jim Crow era.

During their journey, Hall and Woods Weber collected personal and powerful stories from Black Americans who used the Green Book to navigate trips, patronize Black-owned businesses, and come together in the face of institutionalized racism. Their route was based on information from The Green Book. They knew that thousands of African Americans would have made a similar trip when returning South to visit family during and after the Great Migration of Black Americans north and west. In each city they collected powerful, personal testimony from locals: former Motown musicians, activists, politicians, professors, historians, artists, and more.

Hall and Woods Weber compiled these insights into "Driving the Green Book," a living history podcast from Macmillan Podcasts that sheds light on the communities that were created and thrived during that time. They discuss the stories of those who lived through the era, supported and uplifted each other, and fought for equality.

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