Gretchen Sorin - Driving While Black
Decatur Library Auditorium
March 13, 2020, 7:15 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Join us for an evening with Gretchen Sorin, author of Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights, which describes how the automobile fundamentally changed African American life and is the basis of an upcoming major PBS documentary by Ric Burns. Sorin reveals how the car―the ultimate symbol of independence and possibility―has always held particular importance for African Americans, allowing black families to evade the many dangers presented by an entrenched racist society and to enjoy, in some measure, the freedom of the open road. She recounts the creation of a parallel, unseen world of black motorists, who relied on travel guides, black only businesses, and informal communications networks to keep them safe. Interwoven with Sorin’s own family history and enhanced by dozens of little known images, Driving While Black charts how the automobile fundamentally reshaped African American life, and opens up an entirely new view onto one of the most important issues of our time. Gretchen Sorin is distinguished professor and director of the Cooperstown Graduate Program of the State University of New York. She has curated innumerable exhibits—including with the Smithsonian, the Jewish Museum and the New York State Historical Association—and lives in upstate New York. Event is free and open to the public. Books will be available to purchase and have signed. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.