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. Through her company, Taylor Made Culture, she has spearheaded a multi-faceted project aimed at preserving and celebrating the legacy of the Green Book. From traveling exhibitions to a forthcoming mobile app, Taylor’s innovative approach has ensured that the stories of the past continue to resonate with audiences today. Her collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) has brought the Negro Motorist Green Book exhibition to museums across the country, sparking important conversations about race, identity, and belonging.

One of Taylor’s most ambitious endeavors is the creation of the Green Book Mobile Marker System –a groundbreaking initiative that will commemorate Green Book sites with branded QR codes, allowing users to access detailed information about each location’s history. This interactive experience not only honors the legacy of the Green Book but also invites individuals to engage with their local communities in meaningful ways.

As we look ahead to America’s 250th birthday in 2026, Taylor’s work takes on added significance. By aligning the celebration of the Green Book’s 90th anniversary with this historic milestone, she invites us to reflect on our nation’s complex history and to embrace a more inclusive and truthful narrative of our past. Through her dedication and passion, Taylor has ensured that the legacy of the Green Book will endure for generations to come.

In the words of Maya Angelou, a regular patron of Green Book sites, “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” Candacy Taylor’s work stands as a testament to the enduring power of history –a reminder that through understanding and remembrance, we can pave the way for a brighter and more inclusive future. As we honor her legacy during Black History Month, let us also commit ourselves to carrying forward the torch of justice, equality, and resilience that she has so brilliantly illuminated.