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Traveling Black: A Story of Race and Resistance

Traveling Black: A Story of Race and Resistance

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  • Mia Bay
  • Belknap Press
  • Hardcover
  • 9780674979963
  • 9.6 X 6.4 X 1.1 inches
  • 1.3 pounds
  • History > African American & Black
  • English
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Book Description

This extraordinary book is a powerful addition to the history of travel segregation. Traveling Black reveals how travel discrimination transformed over time from segregated trains to buses and Uber rides. Mia Bay shows that Black mobility has always been a struggle.--Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist

A riveting, character-rich account of racial segregation in America that reveals just how central travel restrictions were to the creation of Jim Crow laws--and why traveling Black has been at the heart of the quest for racial justice ever since.

Why have white supremacists and Black activists been so focused on Black mobility? From Plessy v. Ferguson to #DrivingWhileBlack, African Americans have fought for over a century to move freely around the United States. Curious as to why so many cases contesting the doctrine of separate but equal involved trains and buses, Mia Bay went back to the sources with some basic questions: How did travel segregation begin? Why were so many of those who challenged it in court women? How did it move from one form of transport to another, and what was it like to be caught up in this web of contradictory rules?

From stagecoaches and trains to buses, cars, and planes, Traveling Black explores when, how, and why racial restrictions took shape and brilliantly portrays what it was like to live with them. There is not in the world a more disgraceful denial of human brotherhood than the 'Jim Crow' car of the southern United States, W. E. B. Du Bois famously declared. Bay unearths troves of supporting evidence, rescuing forgotten stories of undaunted passengers who made it back home despite being insulted, stranded, re-routed, or ignored.

Black travelers never stopped challenging these humiliations and insisting on justice in the courts. Traveling Black upends our understanding of Black resistance, documenting a sustained fight that falls outside the traditional boundaries of the civil rights movement. A masterpiece of scholarly and human insight, this book helps explain why the long, unfinished journey to racial equality so often takes place on the road.

Traveling Black: A Story of Race and Resistance

Author Bio

Professor Mia Bay is the Roy F. and Jeanette P. Nichols Professor of American History at the University Pennsylvania. Prior to arriving Penn, Bay worked at Rutgers University, where she was a Professor of History and the Director of the Rutgers Center for Race and Ethnicity.

Professor Bay is a scholar of American and African American intellectual, cultural and social history, whose recent interests include black women’s thought, African American approaches to citizenship, and the history of race and transportation. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Phil. from Yale University and a B.A. from the University of Toronto.

Bay’s publications include The White Image in the Black Mind: African-American Ideas about White People, 1830-1925 (Oxford University Press, 2000); To Tell the Truth Freely: The Life of Ida B. Wells (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009) and the edited work Ida B Wells, The Light of Truth: The Writings of An Anti-Lynching Crusader (Penguin Books, 2014); as well as many articles and book chapters. She is also the co-author, with Waldo Martin and Deborah Gray White, of the textbook Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans with Documents (Bedford/St. Martins 2012,1st Edition, 2016, 2nd Edition), and the editor of two collections of essays: Towards an Intellectual History of Black Women (University of North Carolina Press, 2015), which she co-edited with Farah Jasmin Griffin, Martha S. Jones and Barbara Savage, and   Race and Retail: Consumption Across the Color Line (Rutgers University Press, 2015), which she co-edited with Ann Fabian.

Bay’s current projects include a new book entitled Traveling Black: A Social History of Segregated Transportation (forthcoming, Harvard University Press, 2019); and a book on the history of African American ideas about Thomas Jefferson.

Bay’s work has been supported by the Fletcher Foundation, the National Humanities Center, Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello; the American Council of Learned Societies, Boston University’s Institute on Race and Social Division Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center and W.E.B. Du Bois Centers; and American Historical Association.  An Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, Bay is a member of the executive board of the Society of American Historians and serves on the editorial boards of Reviews in American History, the Journal of African American History, and the African American Intellectual History Society’s Black Perspectives Blog.

Bay is also a frequent consultant on museum and documentary film projects. Her recent public history work includes working with the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) on one of its inaugural exhibits-- “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: The Era of Segregation 1876-1968”-- and serving a scholarly advisor to the Library of Congress and NMAAHC’s Civil Rights History Project.

 

  • Education
     
  • Ph.D. Yale University
  • M.Phil. Yale University
  • B.A. University of Toronto

 

 

Source: University of Pennsylvania - Department of History 

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