The American road trip has been long-regarded as an American staple and for many, the freedom to hop in a car or RV has been closely associated with the “American dream”.
But for Black Americans, however, a drive cross-country has presented its roadblocks and can be a frantic endeavor.
Boston-author and photographer Amani Willett explores the complexities of the Black American road trip through his new photobook, A Parallel Road, which examines how race can impact the experience of road tripping.
The photobook is a culmination of a five-year project that was inspired by Willet’s family and friends, and their experiences on the roads.
Throughout the project, Willett exposes the cracks of this ideal version of American society, pointing out that historically the road represents a collective site of trauma for the Black community.
Mixing recent portraits and landscapes, digital screenshots and archival material—including pictures from Willett’s own family archive—A Parallel Road pays homage to Victor Green’s Book, more than 80 years after it was first published. Willet sheds light on an experience of the road that has long been overlooked.