Tuesday, 7:00 pm EST February 28, 2023
The Center for Fiction
The Ticket/Voucher option includes a $10 Bookstore voucher, redeemable toward the featured event book on the night of the event. All registrants will receive a link to livestream the event.
Award-winning broadcaster, political activist, and renowned financial educator Alvin Hall brings us into his tour-de-force journey through the history of segregation: Driving the Green Book: A Road Trip Through the Living History of Black Resistance. In this moving, vital story of our past, Hall travels from New York to Detroit to New Orleans using the former Green Book— the guide that helped Black people travel safely on the nation’s highways and roadways—as a guide, and collects the memories of the last living witnesses who struggled under segregation and for whom the Green Book meant survival. Columbia University professor and New Yorker correspondent Jelani Cobb (The Essential Kerner Commission Report) joins Hall for a discussion on this essential and hopeful chronicle of Black resilience and resistance, through segregation and beyond.
Alvin Hall is an award-winning television and radio broadcaster, author, political activist, and renowned financial educator. His numerous radio programs include The Tulsa Tragedy That Shamed America (2021, BBC Radio 4), The Green Book (2016, BBC Radio 4), and Jay-Z: From Brooklyn to the Board Room (BBC Radio 4). For five years on the BBC, he hosted the highly rated and award-winning series, Your Money or Your Life, on which he offered both practical financial and psychological advice.
Photo Credit: Jim Franco
A staff writer at the New Yorker, Jelani Cobb is the Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School. The recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright and Ford Foundations, he lives in New York.
Driving the Green Book: A Road Trip Through the Living History of Black Resistance
By Alvin Hall
Published by HarperOne / HarperCollins
Driving the Green Book explores the history of America’s segregated past, through a journey across terrain once considered too dangerous for a Black traveler to navigate—and which still bears those scars.
Between 1936 and 1967, The Negro Motorist Green Book guided black travelers to hotels, restaurants and other businesses where they could safely rest and eat a meal. Alvin Hall, along with activist Janée Woods Weber, travels from New York to Detroit to New Orleans using the former Green Books as a guide, finding the advertised stops, either still in business or now transformed for other uses.
More importantly, he collects the memories of the last living witnesses who struggled under segregation and for whom the Green Book meant survival. Readers will be introduced to remarkable people who not only endured but rose above the hate and learned to forgive while making sure their oral histories will never be lost or forgotten.
Combining insights about Jim Crow laws, the necessity of automobile culture to Black survival, the story of the Green Book’s creator Victor Green, and fascinating and moving information about the landmarks along the way—including the Lorraine motel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated—Driving the Green Book is a crucial addition to the history of the United States- and a vital and hopeful chronicle of Black resilience and resistance, through segregation and beyond.
Driving the Green Book contains 25 outstanding black and white photos and ephemera.
About this series
Our On America series brings writers, journalists, activists, and change-makers together to reflect on the critical issues of our times. Who are we and who are we becoming? How do the stories we tell shape who we are as a nation? Will we rise to the challenges we face?
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