42. “Driving While Black” with Gretchen Sorin

Historian Gretchen Sorin has written a fascinating new book, “Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights,” that dives into the role the car played in the 20th-century African American experience. Sorin talked with Sarah about how in the Jim Crow era, when riding public transportation was often humiliating and downright dangerous for black Americans, the automobile provided a way for black families to get around with safety and dignity. She also explains how cars played an instrumental role in building the civil rights movement, and why white etiquette expert Emily Post wasn’t so comfortable with the rising popularity of the automobile.

Find the full transcript of the episode here.

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Find out more about Gretchen Sorin and her work.

Buy “Driving While Black.”

This episode was edited by Ali Lemer. Our theme music is by Nathaniel Goodyear. Our logo is by Dani Finkel of Crucial D Designs.

Find us on Twitter: @TheWarOnCars, Sarah Goodyear @buttermilk1, Aaron Naparstek @Naparstek, Doug Gordon @BrooklynSpoke.

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One Comment

  • Gary Harty says:

    Fascinating and thought provoking. Food for thought for those of us who advocate the bicycle for transportation and want it to be inclusive. Thanks for this episode.