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Ann Thomas Memorial Lecture featuring Alvin Hall, Driving the Green Book

February 20, 2024
12:00pm - 1:00pm

Ann Thomas Memorial Lecture featuring Alvin Hall, Driving the Green Book

Ann Thomas was an amazing woman, and a dedicated library patron. After she passed on Feb. 22, 2019, we decided to create an annual memorial lecture series at the library in her honor. Our 2024 guest will be Alvin Hall, author of  Driving the Green Book. He is an internationally renowned financial educator, award-winning television and radio broadcaster, artist, and bestselling author. In the summer of 2019, Mr. Hall hit the road for a 2,000-mile trip  based on information gathered from the historic travel guide, The “Negro Motorist Green Book.” The people he interviewed shared powerful memories of that time that became the center of the book. 

“Singletary’s,” aka “The Dixie,” the Wheeling restaurant owned by Ann Thomas’s family, once appeared in the Green Book.

Learn more about the lecture series.

Many thanks to our sponsors!

Speaker Bio:

Alvin Hall is an internationally renowned financial educator, television and radio broadcaster, bestselling author, and regular contributor to magazines, newspapers, and websites.

For five years on the BBC, he hosted the highly rated and award-winning series, Your Money or Your Life, on which he offered both practical financial and psychological advice to people about how to take control of and fix their financial problems. His radio program, Jay-Z: From Brooklyn to the Boardroom, won the Wincott Foundation Press and Broadcasting Award for the best radio program for 2006. Hall has also hosted programs on current events and contemporary art for BBC Radio 4 including After Katrina and most recently, Alvin Hall’s Generations of Money. An eight-part television series for BBC World News called Alvin’s Guide to Good Business was broadcast internationally in 2010. In the US, he is a regular contributor on personal finance and the economy on NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin.

Among Hall’s bestselling books are: You and Your Money: It’s More than Just the Numbers, Your Money or Your Life (winner of the WHSmith 2003 People’s Choice Award), What Not to Spend, Getting Started in Mutual Funds 2nd Edition, and Getting Started in Stocks 3rd Edition. His children’s book, Show Me the Money, has been published in over 20 foreign-language editions. In the US, the book has been named a Best Children’s Book of the Year (2009) by the Bank St. Book Committee, which is run by the Bank Street College of Education. It was also named a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People (2009) by a joint project of the National Book Council for Social Studies and the Children’s Book Council.

Hall lives in New York City where he designs and teaches classes about the investment markets for financial services companies, banks, regulatory authorities, as well as information and technology vendors. His acclaimed classroom programs and speaking engagements have provided thousands of people with a solid grounding in such topics as the workings of financial markets, investment products, effective investment strategies, reducing debt, planning for retirement and personal financial management. Alvin Hall is a member of the NYSE Euronext Financial Literacy Advisory Committee to help develop programs to improve knowledge about all aspects of personal finance among the general public. He is also on the Acquisitions Committee of the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Watch the video:

Featured Book:

Driving the Green Book: A Road Trip Through the Living History of Black Resistance

Hardcover, Ebook, Digital Audio Book Unabridged
304 pages
HarperCollins Publishers (21 Feb. 2023)
ISBN: 9780063271968

Join award-winning broadcaster Alvin Hall on a journey through America's haunted racial past, with the legendary Green Book as your guide.
For countless Americans, the open road has long been a place where dangers lurk. In the era of Jim Crow, Black travelers encountered locked doors, hostile police, and potentially violent encounters almost everywhere, in both the South and the North. From 1936 to 1967, millions relied on The Negro Motorist Green Book, the definitive guide to businesses where they could safely rest, eat, or sleep.

Alvin Hall set out to revisit the world of the Green Book. With his friend Janée Woods Weber, he drove from New York to Detroit to New Orleans, visiting motels, restaurants, shops, and stores where Black Americans once found a friendly welcome. They explored historical and cultural landmarks, from the theatres and clubs where stars like Duke Ellington and Lena Horne performed to the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Along the way, they gathered memories from some of the last living witnesses for whom the Green Book meant survival—remarkable people who not only endured but rose above the hate, building vibrant Black communities against incredible odds.

Driving the Green Book is a vital work of national history as well as a hopeful chronicle of Black resilience and resistance.

The book contains 25 outstanding black and white photos and ephemera.
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