"Mobility is essential to freedom." Dr. Gretchen Sorin
August 20 – Portsmouth The Black Heritage Trail of NH is proud to partner with the Prescott Park Arts Festival to bring this evocative and compelling PBS documentary, Driving While Black, to the Seacoast on August 20 at dusk at the Prescott Park stage.
In addition to the film, join BHTNH for the unveiling of our new Greenbook Tour on August 22 at 2pm. On this tour you will see the places and hear the stories of the local people whose homes served as safe vacation spots for African American travelers. Registration on our website.
BHTNH will host a talk-back via zoom with author Gretchin Sorin and filmmaker Ric Burns on Monday, August 23 at 6pm. Registration required.
Chronicling the riveting history and personal experiences – at once liberating and challenging, harrowing and inspiring, deeply revealing and profoundly transforming – of African Americans on the road from the advent of the automobile through the seismic changes of the 1960s and beyond – "Driving While Black" explores the deep background of a recent phrase rooted in realities that have been an indelible part of the African American experience for hundreds of years – told in large part through the stories of the men, women and children who lived through it.
Drawing on a wealth of recent scholarship – and based on and inspired in large part by Dr. Gretchen Sorin’s recently published study of the way the automobile and highways transformed African American life across the 20th century ("Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights" (W.W. Norton, 2020)) – the film examines the history of African Americans on the road from the depths of the Depression to the height of the Civil Rights movement and beyond, exploring along the way the deeply embedded dynamics of race, space and mobility in America during one of the most turbulent and transformative periods in American history.
Watch the extended trailer now!