Mia BayMar 13, 2023
Traveling Black, A Story of Race and Resistance
A Conversation with Mia Bay
Harvard University Press 2023
Mia Bay, the Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Chair in American History at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about her book Traveling Black: A Story of Race and Resistance (Harvard University Press, 2023), with Peoples & Things, Lee Vinsel. From stagecoaches and trains to buses, cars, and planes, Traveling Black explores when, how, and why racial restrictions took shape and brilliantly portrays what it was like to live with them. Bay unearths troves of supporting evidence, rescuing forgotten stories of undaunted passengers who made it back home despite being insulted, stranded, re-routed, or ignored. Black travelers never stopped challenging these humiliations and insisting on justice in the courts. Traveling Black upends our understanding of Black resistance, documenting a sustained fight that falls outside the traditional boundaries of the civil rights movement. Bay and Vinsel also talk about where Traveling Black fits in Bay’s broader career as a historian and which project she is turning to next.
Lee Vinsel is an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at Virginia Tech. He studies human life with technology, with particular focus on the relationship between government, business, and technological change. His first book, Moving Violations: Automobiles, Experts, and Regulations in the United States, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in July 2019.