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Grant number: TR-254082-17

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SUNY Research Foundation, College at Oneonta (Oneonta, NY 13820-2685)
Gretchen S. Sorin (Project Director: August 2016 to present)

African Americans on the Road in the Era of Jim Crow

The feature documentary Driving While Black will chronicle the history of African Americans on the road from the 1930s to the 1960s. From the Depression to the Civil Rights movement, this crucial and transformative period in American history commenced as black Americans navigated the brave new world of the automobile and the highway in the last decades of Jim Crow America, seizing opportunities for mobility while confronting challenges unknown to white travelers. In today’s society, there is a clear gaping disparity between black and white Americans in their beliefs about the treatment of black citizens by law enforcement. Driving While Black will use the history of African American automobile travel as a window into the complex nature of freedom, mobility, and race in America, in the hope that the insights it affords can help inform our collective understanding of race relationships today, and be a catalyst for discussion about race and equality. [Project work period: 7/1/15-3/31/17]

Project fields:
African American History

Media Projects Production

Public Programs

Total amounts:
$300,000 (approved)
$300,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2017 – 4/30/2019