Black travelers on Route 66

Traveling Route 66 as a black person is going to be a little different than for white people. A recent comment asking if Route 66 was safe for a black family prompted me to think about this and see what I can find out.

Since I am a white traveler in the US I don’t pretend to know what driving Route 66 might be like for non white travellers.

What I can do is point you towards, and share the mic with, people with experience and Black owned businesses. Hopefully you’ll find this useful – please let me know if I can do anything more.

This page is specifically to collate links that might be helpful for anyone planning a trip and wondering how their experience might be affected and to also highlight businesses on the road. It’s very much a work in progress that I hope to add to as I find more information and people to share.

I’m more than happy to hear from anyone who has articles, road trip stories or business they’d like shared. E-mail me at or leave a comment

Articles about Route 66 for Black travelers:

Traveling Route 66 while Black – Illinois Times

Black owned businesses on Route 66

Route History – Springfield, Illinois – Museum and souvenir shop specialising in black business and people on Route 66

Threatt Filling Station – Luther, Oklahoma. This filling station was built in 1915 by an African American family and was a place of refuge for black travelers in the past. It’s currently being refurbished.

Greenwood Rising – Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma about Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Massacre

Stewarts Petrified Wood Trading Post – Holbrook, Arizona

Books of interest

Miles to Go – a story of a mixed race family from Kenya who travel Route 66

Overground Railroad: The Green Book and Roots of Black travel in America – Candace Taylor.