PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The African American Museum in Philadelphia has a traveling exhibit that takes visitors on a journey through the history of road trips for black American travelers.
Karen Rogers brings us the details in this week’s 6abc Loves the Arts.
Derrick Adams: Sanctuary transforms The Negro Motorist Green Book into large-scale installations.
“Sanctuary really talks more about black mobility and black endurance,” says Adams.
The exhibition is inspired by postal worker Victor Hugo’s Green Book, first published in 1936.
“It was used as a guidebook for black drivers and their families who were in their mid-20s and to be safe.”
The first edition only covered the state of New York, but the Green Book grew to guide black travelers safely through much of North America.
“It’s listed by state, representative of the barber shops, the auto repair shops, the hotels, the restaurant,” says Duckett.
The “Beacons of Light” symbolize “sunset cities”.
“Cities where, as a black person, you can’t be seen at a certain time of night or face violence,” says Adams.
The beacons consist of children’s milk caricatures cast into buildings.
“Places that would shelter people in need,” says Adams.
“There are very serious details that go into sunset towns, but there’s also that through the nature of the joy, the humor,” says Duckett.
Adams celebrates driving style and culture.
“When my parents and grandparents took to the streets, they were dressed up,” says Duckett.
He also gives a double meaning to familiar road trip mantras.
“Are we there yet? Can we take a break?” says Duckett.
Here the questions relate to progress in the struggle for civil rights.
“The idea of leisure is being re-imagined as a form of political resistance,” says Adams.
“You think of your own personal safe place. What is your beacon?” says Duckett.
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701 Arch Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
Derrick Adams: Sanctuary is on display until August 28, 2022
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https://6abc.com/derrick-adams-sanctuary-african-american-museum-in-philadelphia-the-green-book-black-history/12091936/ African American Museum in Philadelphia ‘Sanctuary’ is a ride through ‘Green Book,’ a guidebook for Black American travelers