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“Driving While Black” examines the impact of cars on black Americans

The car is arguably one of the most influential inventions of the last 150 years. Broadly speaking, it has had a major impact not only on the way, time and place we traveled, but also on the appearance and environmental conditions of our city. And cars have had a unique impact on different groups of people, so it all only scratches the surface. The new PBS documentary, Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America, provides a detailed and comprehensive look at the various impacts of cars and transportation on black Americans from the era of slavery to today’s Black Lives. .. The movement of matter.

As the documentary shows, cars have certainly brought a lot of good things to blacks. The auto industry, by no means 100% fair, has provided many well-paid jobs and upward liquidity for families away from the South. The car provided private transportation. In short, blacks were able to travel without racism or threats at bus and train stops. They provided a way to reach parts of the country that could provide a better life and at the same time make it easier for families with less ability to move home. Cars also played an important role in the civil rights movement. One particular example is the carpool, which helped avoid a discriminatory bus system during the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Just as there were good things about black people and cars, there were bad things. One of the consistent themes presented throughout the documentary is the black theme, which is still at risk when traveling by car. In Jim Crow’s day, blacks had to be very careful about where to go and where to stop. Not all gas stations, hotels and restaurants are welcome and often bring food, bedding and other supplies so you don’t have to stop in a strange place.This has led to many pamphlets and travel guides, the most famous of which Green book, It will tell blacks where they can safely eat and sleep on the road. The documentary also focuses on modern issues such as the danger of traffic outages and racist crackdowns on blacks. And there was arguably a more subtle highway construction problem, which often cut through and separated the black community, causing serious damage to them and their businesses there.

It’s a complex, engaging, painful and hopeful documentary that’s worth spending two hours checking. It provides both a good context for modern issues and a thought of the past that has not always been fully discussed. You can watch it on this link or in the embedded video above, and you can watch it anytime until November 10.

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