The Overground Railroad: A Conversation with Candacy Taylor

Date & Time
Thursday, May 18, 2023
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Location Heinz History Center 1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh PA, 15222
Ticketing $10 for non-members, $5 for members

Uncover the history behind the Green Book during a special lecture and book talk. Online registration is no longer available for this event. Tickets are available at the door.

Join award-winning author, photographer, and cultural documentarian Candacy Taylor for an evening discussion on her book, “Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America” at the History Center.

Her critically acclaimed book explores the historical role and residual impact of the Green Book, a travel guide Black Americans used when traveling during the Jim Crow era. In the book, Taylor carefully retraces the Green Book’s history, embarking on her own cross-country road trip to seek what remains of the businesses and buildings listed.

Taylor will discuss her journey with Pittsburgh radio legend Elaine Effort. The conversation will also reveal the Green Book’s Pittsburgh connections and include behind-the-scenes stories about the Smithsonian’s The Negro Motorist Green Book exhibition, which Taylor helped create.

The discussion will be followed by a book signing. “Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America” will be available for purchase from the History Center Museum Shop.


The book talk and signing will be held in the History Center’s fifth floor Mueller Center. Tickets are $10 for non-members and $5 for members. Advance registration is required for this event. Attendees can tour the exhibition, The Negro Motorist Green Book, ahead of the discussion. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m.

About the Author

Candacy Taylor is an award-winning author, photographer, and cultural documentarian. Her work has been featured in more than fifty media outlets, including The New Yorker, Newsweek, and The Atlantic. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Hutchins Center for African American Research at Harvard University; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the National Park Service; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and an Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Taylor has driven a half-million miles retracing the path of the Green Book, visiting sites, and photographing nearly two hundred of them across the country.

About the Moderator

Elaine Effort is a retired radio broadcaster for KQV radio where she served as a news reporter, producer, and host of Pittsburgh Profiles for 38 years. She is currently a contributing reporter for WESA radio. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Effort has a M.A. in journalism and is the daughter of a Tuskegee Airmen veteran. Effort has interviewed politicians, musicians, educators, artists, and a host of people from all walks of life that make up the fabric of Pittsburgh.

The Negro Motorist Green Book was created by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with Candacy Taylor.

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