20th century automobile travel was supposed to represent freedom, but what else did it represent? Professor Cotten Siler joins us to discuss the difficulties and hazards of traveling in the United States faced by African-American motorists in the 20th Century, especially during the height of segregation and Jim Crow. Specifically, we learn how important guides like the Negro Motorist Green Book and the popular Travelguide: Vacation and Recreation Without Humiliation were to the reality of “travelling while black.”
Cotten Seiler, Republic of Drivers: A Cultural History of Automobility in America
How did automobile use become so vital to the identity of Americans? Republic of Drivers looks back at the period between 1895 and 1961, from the founding of the first automobile factory in America to the creation of the Interstate Highway System, to find out how driving evolved into a crucial symbol of freedom and agency.