Candacy Taylor

Candacy Taylor


Author and cultural documentarian
Sites of Sanctuary: The Negro Motorist Green Book
Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow
Spring 2017


Candacy Taylor is an award-winning African American author and cultural documentarian. Her first book, Counter Culture, was optioned by ABC television and in 2012, she was one of five people to receive an Archie Green Fellowship from the Library of Congress. Her work has been featured in over 40 media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall St. Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian UK, NPR, BBC, CBC Radio and PBS. Taylor’s projects have been commissioned and funded by leading organizations such as The Library of Congress, The National Park Service, The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), The Schomburg Center for Black Culture, The Graham Foundation, California Humanities and the American Folklife Center.

Project Description

Sites of Sanctuary: The Negro Motorist Green Book

"Sites of Sanctuary" is a multimedia project that documents businesses that were listed in the Negro Motorist Green Book. The “Green Book” was a travel guide that listed restaurants, hotels, barbershops, beauty parlors, taverns and service stations that were willing to serve black people during the Jim Crow era. It not only offered safety and convenience, it was a powerful tool for African Americans to persevere and literally move forward in the face of racism. The fact that we have Green Book buildings as physical evidence of racial segregation is a rich opportunity to re-examine America’s troubled history of segregation, integration, black migration and the rise of the black leisure class.

The project will provide new research, documentation, historical narratives, and statistical data on the history of African American travel. Through qualitative and quantitative research, oral history interviews, photographic documentation, and archiving ephemera from Green Book properties, the project builds on examinations of mapping racialized landscapes and re-contextualizes it in the current cultural paradigm of race, poverty, and social mobility.

A Hutchins Fellowship will provide an opportunity to scout, map, photograph and research over 100 Green Book businesses that were located in Massachusetts with over 70 in the Boston and Roxbury area. Having access to local libraries and historical societies will aid in researching Massachusetts Green Book properties and the data gathered during the fellowship period will provide source material for a book, touring exhibition, interactive map, website, mobile app, virtual reality platform, board game and walking tour.

Spring 2017: Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow

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