PRESS RELEASE: THE OVERGROUND RAILROAD
ABRAMS TO PUBLISH THE OVERGROUND RAILROAD: THE GREEN BOOK AND THE ROOTS OF BLACK TRAVEL IN AMERICA
By Candacy Taylor
Accompanying Traveling Smithsonian Exhibition
New York, New York – April 11, 2018 – ABRAMS is proud to announce the Fall 2019 publication of The Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America by writer, photographer, and cultural critic Candacy Taylor. The two-book deal, which also includes a condensed book for middle-grade readers, was signed by ABRAMS’ Editor-at-Large Howard W. Reeves and Taylor’s literary agent, Chris Tomasino of the Tomasino Agency.
“What Candacy Taylor has brought together in these projects is a grand social history that crosses borders both geographical and societal. It’s an epic story that needs to be told, and I’m excited that ABRAMS is helping to do so both for adults and for children,” says Reeves.
The Overground Railroad chronicles the history of The Negro Motorist Green Book, an annual guide published from 1936 to 1966 that helped African Americans travel the country with dignity during the era of Jim Crow laws and segregation throughout America. The Green Book listed hotels, restaurants, gas stations, department stores, and other businesses that welcomed black travelers. Considering the violence and terror African Americans often encountered on the road, these guides provided critical, lifesaving information. Author Candacy Taylor has done the most exhaustive research ever gathered on the Green Book. The Overground Railroad features photographs of Green Book sites, interviews with people who used these facilities, as well as living Green Book property owners.
“As an African American woman who drives over 20,000 miles a year documenting American culture, the simplicity and practicality of the Green Book reframed the all-American road trip for me. I hope the powerful stories and visuals collected in The Overground Railroad will build enlightened bridges between the past and the challenges African Americans continue to face while literally and figuratively moving forward in America,” says Taylor.
In addition to the books, an accompanying exhibition is in development by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), tentatively scheduled to open in 2021. The exhibition’s content, created and curated by Taylor, will explore the role the Green Book played in American culture in facilitating the second wave of the Great Migration and the rise of the black leisure class in the United States.
About the Author
Candacy Taylor is an award-winning author and cultural documentarian whose work has been featured in the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, PBS NewsHour, NPR, and BBC, among others. Taylor is currently a nonresident Harvard University Research Fellow at the Hutchins Center under the direction of Henry Louis Gates Jr.
For more information visit: taylormadeculture.com/the-green-book
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gabby Fisher
Founded in 1949, ABRAMS was the first company in the United States to specialize in publishing art and illustrated books. Now a subsidiary of La Martinière Groupe, the company continues to publish critically acclaimed and bestselling works in the areas of art, photography, cooking, craft, comics, interior and garden design, entertainment, fashion, and popular culture; children’s books ranging from young adult fiction to picture books to board books. ABRAMS creates and distributes brilliantly designed visual books with the highest production values under the following imprints: Abrams; Abrams ComicArts; Abrams Image; Abrams Press; Abrams Books for Young Readers; Amulet Books; Abrams Appleseed; and a gift and stationery line, Abrams Noterie. ABRAMS also distributes books for The Vendome Press, Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate, Booth-Clibborn Editions, Five Continents, SelfMadeHero, MoMA Children’s Books, and others.