Media Resource

Q&A with Public Scholar Candacy Taylor

“I think at this time in our country we have so many more questions about the history of race and opportunity and equality, and these issues continue to come up…So I think people are yearning for some guidance and answers about what decisions we’ve made in the past and where we are today.”

—Candacy Taylor, author of Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America, “Q&A with Public Scholar Candacy Taylor”

Candacy Taylor is an author and documentarian. The recipient of an NEH Public Scholar grant, Taylor's book, Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America, explores the role of the Green Book, a travel guide for Black Americans in the mid-twentieth century. The Green Book compiled lists of gas stations, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that served Black clientele in Jim Crow America.

Discussion Questions

  • What stands out to you from Taylor's description of the events that led her to carry out this research?
  • Learn more about Taylor's research process on her website. What was involved in her research? What made it particularly challenging?
  • The Green Book, and Taylor's study of it, are about mobility: geographic mobility, but also social and economic mobility. How have these different kinds of mobility been related for Black Americans? What is the relationship between mobility and freedom? Between space and citizenship?

Classroom Connections

History and Social Studies

Literature and the Arts