Honoring Candacy Taylor’s Legacy: The Overground Railroad

Originally Published by Today’s Woman

February 29, 2024

By Josh Ison

In the annals of American history, there exist stories of resilience, ingenuity, and unwavering determination that deserve to be celebrated and remembered. Among these narratives, the revitalization of the Green Book by Candacy Taylor stands as a beacon of hope, a testament to the power of one woman’s dedication to preserving a vital piece of African American history. As we commemorate Black History Month, it is only fitting to pay tribute to Taylor’s monumental work through her groundbreaking book, The Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America.

Taylor’s journey into the heart of the Green Book began with a profound sense of purpose –to unearth the hidden stories of Black travelers who navigated the treacherous landscapes of segregation and discrimination. As the leading Green Book expert in the United States, Taylor dedicated herself to documenting the nearly forgotten sites listed in the guide, meticulously cataloging over 11,000 locations and personally visiting over 6,000 of them. Through her tireless efforts, she brought to light the rich tapestry of Black travel experiences that had long been overlooked by mainstream historical narratives.

The Overground Railroad not only serves as a comprehensive account of the Green Book’s legacy but also as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by Black Americans during the Jim Crow era. Taylor’s meticulous research and vivid storytelling breathe life into the pages of her book, transporting readers back in time to an era defined by segregation and racial prejudice. Through firsthand accounts, archival photographs, and detailed maps, and Taylor’s original photographs of Green Book sites, she paints a vivid portrait of a community bound together by resilience and a shared determination to overcome adversity.

But Taylor’s impact extends far beyond the pages of her book…”

Read the full piece here.