Shippensburg University has brought the “Traveling While Black” exhibit to campus. The exhibit started April 10 and will run until May 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is hosted in the CUB and is nostalgic of ’60s-era diners. The exhibit is guided by virtual reality headsets along with a guide who talks about the experience and leads a discussion after the experience.
The purpose of the exhibit is to allow the Shippensburg campus to put itself in the shoes of those who were Black during this time and needed to travel. The film displayed on the headset focused heavily on the time in which Black Americans used the green book as a way to know what safe spots they can travel to if needed.
The discussion lead by the volunteers allows those who went to the experience to talk about how they felt when seeing the film and the reality of what they felt. There was discussion on how traveling while black is still prevalent in today’s society. And although the green book is not used as much anymore, there is still a concern for Black travelers when it comes to their safety.
The main reason for the exhibit is to allow the campus to not only see the perspective of those Black travelers but also to encourage anyone who goes through the experience to look within themselves and take this as an opportunity to learn more and be the change in an unjust society.
At the end of the exhibit, visitors are allowed to look at pictures from Ben’s Chili Bowl — the real restaurant featured in the film that is located in Washington, D.C. — along with being given pamphlets that share more information like podcasts as well as civil war sites located right here in Shippensburg.