SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – “Sharing Stories of the Crossroads” is an Ozarks-based history-themed radio show on KICK 92.3 FM & 1340 AM.
Host John Sellars spoke with Lisa Carrico, the Program Director for the Missouri Humanities, about an upcoming event that focuses on the movement and settlement of Missourians called Roots & Routes.
The two-day seminar will begin at the Historic Fox Theatre on Friday, April 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
According to the Missouri Humanities website, Keynote presenter, Candacy Taylor, author of the bestselling book, Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America, will talk about the Green Book — a life-saving tool that not only kept Black motorists safe but also inspired Black entrepreneurship, pride and resiliency.
“[It] was a guide that was published by a postal worker in New York, in Harlem, that told people safe places— if you were black and traveling across the country — to stay and places to eat and towns to avoid and so on, because of their reception or willingness to have black customers,” said Sellars. He said it was published from the 30s all the way up into the late 60s.
Sellars said half of the counties on Route 66 were sundown towns, meaning “no blacks were allowed” in towns after sunset.
“Traveling the Mother Road was like navigating a minefield,” wrote Taylor on the event site.
Sellars said Taylor’s book holds significant historic importance.
“I think to understand where we are, we have to understand where we’ve been. It adds new insight into where we are as a people and how we need to come together, even more, to share each other’s experiences and be compassionate and understanding of other people’s past and how it affects them and how it makes them think,” said Sellars. “Because in the end we’re all in this together and we need to work toward that togetherness.”
See the video above for more information about the event and a preview of Overground Railroad.