Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Overground Railroad: The Green Book & the Roots of Black Travel in America

February 1 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Published from 1936 to 1967, the Green Book was hailed as the “bible of black travel.” At that time, it was very dangerous and difficult for African Americans to travel because they couldn’t eat, sleep, or buy gas at most white-owned businesses. Many older African Americans remember well the years of the Green Book, either from direct experience or family knowledge.

The Green Book listed hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and other establishments that were safe for black travelers. It was a resourceful and innovative solution to a horrific problem, and it took great courage to be listed within its pages.

On Saturday afternoon, February 1st, in honor of Black History Month, Institute on Aging welcomes award-winning author Candacy Taylor, as she presents a talk based on her new book, Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America—-celebrating the stories of those who were bold enough to put their names in the Green Book and take a stand against segregation.

Within her book and associated talk, Taylor covers Victor Green’s founding of the guide and discusses how its content and history represents America itself, how the sites and businesses it featured have changed over the years, and how the untold story of black travel reflects African Americans’ struggle and triumph against incredible odds. She offers a rich opportunity to reexamine America’s history of segregation, 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, MA, is an award-winning author, photographer, cultural documentarian, and 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 that will be toured by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) starting in June 2020: The Negro Motorist Green Book. The exhibition will travel throughout the United States for three years, offering an immersive look at the reality of travel for African Americans in mid-century America and how the annual guide served as an indispensable resource for the nation’s rising African American middle class and evidence of a vibrant business class. The Negro Motorist Green Book exhibition will be made possible through the support of Exxon Mobil Corporation.

Taylor was a fellow at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University under the direction of Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., and her projects have been commissioned and funded by numerous organizations including The Library of Congress, National Geographic, The American Council of Learned Societies, The National Endowment for the Humanities, The National Park Service, and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

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


REVIEWS FOR Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America:

Overground Railroad is an extraordinary reckoning with the America that whites have always believed existed, and at the America that blacks actually experienced, navigated, and made theirs despite every barrier . . . a true gift from author Candacy Taylor.” —Heather Ann Thompson, Pultizer Prize–winning author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy.

“With passion, conviction, and clarity,  Taylor’s book unearths a fascinating and true—if not willfully obscured—history of African American activism and entrepreneurship in the United States. This remarkable study broadens our understanding of black life, leisure, and struggles for equality in twentieth-century America, presents the Green Book as a social movement in response to a crisis in black travel, and makes a compelling case for the need to protect more diverse African American sites that have been heretofore underappreciated.”Brent Leggs, Executive Director, African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund

“The overarching story of the Green Book reminds us that individual acts of bravery contributed immeasurably to standing up to segregation.” — The Daily Beast

“…her book is a moving and needed history. The overt white nationalism of our era highlights the covert racism that never went away.” —  Bookforum

We will be selling Candacy Taylor’s book, Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in Americaat this February 1st event. Books will be available for purchase, thanks to our friendly, neighborhood vendor, Books Inc., Laurel Village. The cost will be $38, which includes tax. Cash or check only.

Image result for books inc

Date and Time: Saturday, February 1, 2020, 2 p.m. (Doors open at 1:15 p.m.)

Place: Institute on Aging, 3575 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94118

Parking: Limited street parking around the building. Public transportation is nearby.

Cost: $15, General Admission; $5.00 students and seniors (62+)


Continuing Education for this program will be available at no extra charge (1.5 Continuing Education Units): APA; BRN; CAMFT (serves LCSW/MFT); MCLE.


As a result of attending this program, participants will be able to:

– Communicate an understanding of black travel within the United States during the 20th century, referencing three historical influences: segregation; black migration; and the rise of the black leisure class.

– Identify at least three reasons for the evolution of  black-centered services during the Jim Crow era, which led to the Green Book’s development.

– Explain how the Green Book legacy remains relevant within the current cultural discussion of these four topics: race; poverty; social mobility; and access to services of all types.

 All Continuing Education certificates will be delivered digitally, within 5 working days of the event. An evaluation-test will be provided to all CE registrants, who must then attend the entire program and turn in their evaluation at the end of the program in order to qualify for a CE certificate.

Introductory Level: No prior knowledge of the specific content area is needed in order for you to participate fully and effectively in the workshop. The information or skills will be (or may be) new for those who enroll.

American Psychological Association (APA): Institute on Aging is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Institute on Aging maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN), Provider # CEP13610, for 1.5 Contact Hours.

CAMFT: Institute on Aging is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for this program. IOA maintains responsibility for the course and its content. Course meets the qualifications for 1.5 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs. CAMFT provider number is #135377.

State Bar of California (MCLE) : Course meets the qualifications for 1.5 hours of continuing education credit for Attorneys (Provider #13264).

Funding for this program is provided by the JULIAN S. DAVIS, MD, LECTURESHIP FUND


Institute on Aging San Francisco
3575 Geary Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94118 United States


Institute on Aging


Institute on Aging (IOA) CONNECT is your direct line to us and the starting point for help with your concerns about the needs of older adults and adults with disabilities. IOA CONNECT links you with our services, as well as community services available.
Or send us a message using the form.

How to find us

Contact Us

3575 Geary Boulevard San Francisco, CA 94118

Phone: (415) 750 - 4111

Fax: (415) 750 - 5338

Locations Served

Marin   |   Peninsula   |   San Mateo County   |   Santa Clara County   |   San Bernardino / Riverside County   |   East Bay