|Overground railroad : the Green book and the roots of black travel in America
Author: Taylor, Candacy A.
A young reader's edition of Candacy Taylor's acclaimed book about the history of the Green Book, the guide for Black travelers, which was published from 1936 to 1966 and was the "Black travel guide to America."
Kirkus Reviews (11/01/21)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/01/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2021 *Starred Review* The rise of the automobile gave Americans freedom on the open road—but not all Americans. To help Black travelers navigate stores, gas stations, hotels, and other businesses, Harlem postal carrier Victor Hugo Green created the Green Book in 1936. In this young adult adaptation of her New York Times Notable Book, Taylor goes beyond the history of the Green Book to place it within the context of the country’s struggles with race and social mobility. While the author gives a chronological progression of the Green Book, from a short, New York City–based guide to an international one, thematic chapters address Jim Crow laws and dangers to Black drivers, businesses one would encounter in this guide, and Black Americans' burgeoning freedom to travel and vacation. Additional chapters show the influence the Green Book had on the Great Migration, Black women business owners, and Black-owned music venues. Enhancing the impeccable writing is an attractive design with Green Book covers, images of the guide's sites, and other period photographs. The final chapter highlights the “double-edged sword of progress” as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ceased the need for the Green Book but also closed many of its Black-owned businesses. Taylor concludes with a look at modern Black travel. An impressive insight into Black history that still resonates today. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/28/2022 Gr 7 Up—Adapting her phenomenal exploration of Black travel, Taylor outfits this identically titled offering with the pacing and organization perfect for a younger audience. For nearly 30 years, the Green Book provided Black travelers with listings of safe places to find goods and services first throughout the U.S., then around the world. Particularly prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, driving while Black, especially in "sundown towns," could very well be deadly. Victor Hugo Green, a mailman by day, set about the life-saving task of listing businesses—accommodations, restaurants, barber shops, beauty salons, tailors, gas stations, nightclubs, and more—that could be relied upon to serve Black travelers reliably and with dignity. This was an especially tricky proposition in the segregated South, but was not much easier in the redlined cities of the North where discrimination was practiced more covertly. The Green Book served as "an ingenious solution to a horrific problem" and Taylor walks readers through its many iterations as it guided travelers along roads, rails, and even through the air, describing the many complications that continuously arose for Black travelers, who frequently found themselves following the rules and still being hassled by racists. Exceptionally supported with photographs, maps, newspaper articles, and other artifacts, this is a priceless addition for researchers and readers seeking to understand not just the complexities and insidiousness of centuries of systemic racism in America, but the drive and determination required to fight white supremacy. VERDICT An essential first purchase for all school and public libraries.—Abby Bussen - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.