“Driving While Black”

Historian Gretchen Sorin discusses her book "Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights."

Listen 48:54
(Richard Walker)

(Richard Walker)

Guest: Gretchen Sorin

With the expansion of the interstate system, the country became open for Americans who suddenly had unprecedented mobility, but African Americans had a more complicated relationship to driving and automobiles. On the one hand, cars offered a sense of freedom, agency, and a temporary escape from the segregation of Jim Crow buses and trains, but black drivers also faced discrimination, racism and violence while on the road. SUNY Oneonta history professor GRETCHEN SORIN joins Marty to talk about her book, Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights, which examines the role of automobiles in lives of African Americans in the Jim Crow era.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal