Monday, July 12, 2021

Tantor Audio Review of Overground Railroad by Candacy Taylor

I am so excited to bring you my thoughts on Overground Railroad by Candacy Taylor a real eyeopener for me.

Publisher: Tantor Audio
Release Date: 9-29-2020
Length: 9 hours/30 minutes
Source: Netgalley for review
Buy It: Audible



The first book to explore the historical role and residual impact of the Green Book, a travel guide for Black motorists.

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.

Enjoy an interview with Candacy Taylor about the book

My Tantor Audio Review:

Overground Railroad
Candacy Taylor


Candacy Taylor chronicles the history of The Green also known as the bible for the Black traveler in America. In 1936 NYC mailman Victor Hugo Green created this guide for blacks who traveled the highways and byways of Jim Crow America listing all black friendly restaurants, lodging, gas stations and other travel necessities. With the rise of the African-American middle-class and more blacks being able to own cars also meant freedom from traveling on public transportation where they were put in uncomfortable train cars, the back of the bus and often left on the side of the road when the drivers said there was no room for them.

As a side-line Taylor tells the nightmare stories of many black Americans who attempted travel during these times many of them losing their lives. She tells about returning WWII black Vets who hoped they would finally be treated equally on the rails and the roads after defending their country from the tyranny of Hitler only to come home and find tyranny from those who they fought for. She also shares with the audience her stepfather’s personal and often tragic stories about traveling Black in America from childhood through adulthood, unfortunately he died from complications of his exposure to Agent Orange when he served in Vietnam.

This book should be required reading for all high school students because every American needs to know the real history of America warts and all and not the propaganda we’ve all been force-fed in the past. Lovers of the true history of America, memoirs, civil-rights, African-American non-fiction and historical non-fiction will find this important book an integral part of their personal libraries. Buy the book and then share it, pass it on!


Overground Railroad  is narrated by Lisa Renee Pitts and while she has a clear clean voice this book is too important a work for her at times emotionless recitation.
This book instead deserves a fabulous narrator one who could have injected the right amount of emotion, regret and anger the book documents. 

About the author:

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 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.
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 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.


  1. Interesting, and something I did not know

  2. Oh wow, so enlightening and so sad. We all have to examine our attitudes and books like this one are so important.