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Overground railroad : the Green Book and the roots of Black travel in America

Call Number

  • 973.0496 T2391 (CEN)

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Publication Information

New York : Abrams Press, 2020.

Physical Description

360 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm


The first book to explore the historical role and residual impact of the Green Book, a travel guide for black motorists. Published from 1936 to 1966, the Green Book was hailed as the "black travel guide to America." At that time, it was very dangerous and difficult for African-Americans to travel because black travelers couldn't eat, sleep, or buy gas at most white-owned businesses. The Green Book listed hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and other businesses that were safe for black travelers. It was a resourceful and innovative solution to a horrific problem. It took courage to be listed in the Green Book, and 'Overground Railroad' celebrates the stories of those who put their names in the book and stood up against segregation. It shows the history of the Green Book, how we arrived at our present historical moment, and how far we still have to go when it comes to race relations in America.


  • Introduction: are we there yet?
  • Driving while black
  • The business of the Green Book
  • The fight
  • A license to leave
  • All aboard
  • Vacation
  • Music venues
  • The roots of Route 66
  • Women and the Green Book
  • A change is gonna come
  • Integration and the double-edged sword
  • Epilogue: America after the Green Book.

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