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Jul 15

South Florida Social Justice Common Read: The Overground Railroad

July 15 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

The goal of the program is to engage the broader South Florida community in a conversation about systemic racism and the need for change.

A collaboration between Florida Memorial University (FMU), FMU Social Justice Institute (FMU SJI), the South Florida People of Color (SFPOC), and the African American Research Library and Cultural Center of Fort Lauderdale (AARLCC), the South Florida Social Justice Common Read will create a series of curated conversations based on books on the subject of social justice and racial inequity.

The goal of the program is to engage the broader South Florida community in a conversation about systemic racism and the need for change.

Published from 1936 to 1966, the Green Book was hailed as the “black travel guide to America.” At that time, it was very dangerous and difficult for African-Americans to travel because black travelers couldn’t eat, sleep, or buy gas at most white-owned businesses. The Green Book listed hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and other businesses that were safe for black travelers. It was a resourceful and innovative solution to a horrific problem. It took courage to be listed in the Green Book, and Overground Railroad celebrates the stories of those who put their names in the book and stood up against segregation. It shows the history of the Green Book, how we arrived at our present historical moment, and how far we still have to go when it comes to race relations in America.

Candacy Taylor is an award-winning author, photographer and cultural documentarian working on a multidisciplinary project based on the Green Book. Taylor is the author of Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America (Abrams Books). She is also the curator and content specialist for an exhibition based on her book that will be toured by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) starting in June 2020. The exhibition will travel throughout the United States for three years.

This project has been awarded fellowships and grants from the Hutchins Center at Harvard University (under the direction of Henry Louis Gates Jr.), The Library of Congress, National Geographic, The National Park Service, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Graham Foundation, The California Humanities, and The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Taylor’s work has been featured in over 50 media outlets including The Atlantic, CBS Sunday Morning, The Guardian UK, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Newsweek, PBS Newshour and The Wall St. Journal.

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