Mia Bay is a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of The White Image in the Black Mind: African-American Ideas About White People 1830-1925 (2000) and To Tell the Truth Freely: The Life of Ida B. Wells (2009). She is a coauthor, with Waldo E. Martin and Deborah Gray White, of Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans, With Documents (2012). Her most recent book is on the social history of segregated transportation titled Traveling Black: A Story of Race and Resistance (2021). Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, she taught and directed the Center for Race and Ethnicity at Rutgers University.
Based on her book Traveling Black: A Story of Race and Resistance, Dr. Bay tells the history of the African American experience on segregated transportation from the antebellum era to the present day. Traveling Black explores what it was like to travel in Jim Crow cars, ride at the back of the bus, and navigate a myriad of discriminatory travel accommodations—from whites-only service stations to segregated airline terminals. It underscores that blacks bitterly resented these humiliations and resisted them fiercely, recovering an intertwined history of travel segregation and black struggles for freedom of movement.