How cars changed the lives of black Americans.
Between the 1920s and the 1960s, automobile ownership changed African American life. You could not be asked to move to the back of the bus—or, worse, to get off and reenter through the back door—if you drove your own car. The horsepower of an automobile also gave African American drivers the ability to escape. Cars enabled motorists to move rapidly without being stopped or harassed by white citizens anxious to take the law into their own hands. There are instances of African Americans being dragged from their cars and beaten by angry mobs, but there are certainly far more cases of black people simply driving past whites without being detected or of outrunning a dangerous situation. Getting behind the wheel became, at times, an equalizer.
Emily Post, the arbiter of white America’s etiquette, expressed concerns that cars leveled the social playing field. She complained about the ordinary citizen who purchased a new car and “felt that he automatically became the equal of every owner of a similar car, and the superior of the owners of all cars of less importance.” The car, Post feared, enabled the lower classes to feel equal to the middle classes. Post further lamented that “the man in moderate circumstances will stint himself in every way to buy a car actually beyond his means, thus to gratify his desire to go one better than his neighbor.” Not only did cars make you more equal, she continued, but they could make you more confident and aggressive. Post saw the automobile as an unfortunate invention for those, like herself, who wished to preserve the existing social order. Others, however, especially African Americans, viewed the automobile as the necessary invention of a democratic society.
more recommended stories
‘Tidal wave of voter suppression’ washes over states, lawyer says
“They can do it electronically, they.
Ten “Must Watch” Black History Documentaries
Documentaries can open windows to our.
Why I’m sick of “woke” culture
The more affluent control the narrative.
There Have Been 10 Black Senators Since Emancipation
Elected 150 years ago, Hiram Revels.
Morehouse College Makes History As The First HBCU To Have A Polo Team
Morehouse College just became the first.
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Niece on Her Uncle’s Legacy and Making Her Modeling Debut
Jean-Michel Basquiat had a singular sense.
The Rosewood Massacre: How a lie destroyed a black town
From the bruises on her body,.
They Came Before Tiger Woods: Wake-Robin Golf Club, Inc
For Black History Month, WOL News.
After 65 Years, the First African-American-owned Travel Agency Continues to Provide Travelers With Unique Experiences
The agency planned Dr. Martin Luther.
Mariya Russell Is The First Black Woman To Earn A Michelin Star
Russell she says she’s baffled by.