Traveling While Black, a cinematic virtual reality experience, is building awareness of difficulties Black travelers experienced as they traveled across America. The experience is being hosted by Shippensburg University through Monday, May 8. To date, nearly 500 individuals have viewed the virtual reality film by Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams and Emmy Award-winning Felix & Paul Studios. Using the setting of Ben’s Chili Bowl restaurant in Washington DC, the experience uses first-hand accounts to immerse viewers in the reality of traveling while black.
The Negro Motorist Green Book, compiled and authored by Victor Hugo Green, was a guide book for travelers to know where to lodge, eat, purchase gas, use a restroom, or obtain a service as a Black patron. Inspired by Green’s own experiences while traveling as Black man, the book identified facilities that would not turn away a Black traveler. It was printed from 1936 to 1966. Traveling While Black documents the concerns and fears of Black travelers and showcases the ongoing concerns that carry to the present.
Participants use Oculus GO virtual reality headsets to become part of the conversation and experience the people and places. Tickets are free. To attend, register here by selecting a time slot. The presentation is held in the Ceddia Union Building (CUB) on the campus of Shippensburg University.