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Dear White Women

May 24, 2022

In 2003, Misasha drove across the country from New York to Los Angeles with two of her law school girlfriends. In her words: “We were all Asian, and this was the time of SARS, so while they felt a LOT of eyes on us (and repeatedly joked, to ourselves, “no one cough, or we’re never getting out of here”, which wasn’t so much of a joke as us trying to make light of a painful reality), we never felt like we couldn’t stop at a gas station, or that we couldn’t find a place to stay at night, or that we couldn’t find a public restroom to use.” However, those restrictions were reality for generations of Black Americans, and the legacy of those restrictions continues to reverberate today, and that’s why our conversation is so important.


Today, we speak with Candacy Taylor about her carefully researched book about the Green Book, called the Overground Railroad (doesn’t the title alone make you want to hear more)?  We not only discuss the immense hurdles and realities for Black people who were just trying to go somewhere by car, but we also discuss topics like sundown towns (you may be surprised to hear that you might be living in one, historically), how institutionalized racism appears through overpasses, and what we all can do to make change right now.


What to listen for: 

  • What it was like for a Black family to drive Route 66 
  • A primer to sundown towns - the towns in the US in the 1900s that clearly did not allow people of color to stay after dark; towns that weren’t researched and discussed until the 2000s! 
  • All about Victor Green, and the Green Book he created to help Black people safely navigate road trips, and more over time
  • The shocking truths about how racist the Northern United States was/is, how sneaky people got in creating systems to keep Black people away, even without the Jim Crow signs of the South
  • The parallels between the mid-1900s and today, and what Candacy wants more White women to do


Items of interest from today’s conversation: 

Truths about the US Prison System, with Marcus Bullock: Episodes 83 & 84 

See if the Smithsonian’s Negro Motorist Green Book exhibit is coming to your city!