Black History Month is a great time to not only reflect on the important contributions made by so many Americans, but it allows us the opportunity to dream and to learn by immersing ourselves in Black culture. Spanning the East Coast, the Midwest and the West Coast, Amtrak can take you to historic sites rich in Black culture that we should all visit. Black History comes alive at locations like:
Beale Street Historic District, Memphis, Tenn.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati
International Civil Rights Center & Museum, Greensboro, N.C.
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Washington, D.C.
Lincoln Park, Chicago
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Washington, D.C.
John Coltrane House, Philadelphia
Historic Charleston’s Religious and Community Buildings, Charleston, S.C.
Amtrak is the best way to visit these places. Instead of traveling by road or air, let Amtrak take you on a journey full of unique experiences in a comfortable and relaxing travel setting. Amtrak connects communities, enabling passengers to reach almost any destination with an easy boarding process, no middle seats and without the stress and hassles of driving. Amtrak is a perfect travel choice for families, groups, and individuals. With comfy seats, private rooms, and lots of options to fit your schedule, Amtrak can safely get you to 500+ destinations nationwide.
A Look Back at Our Past
As America’s Railroad, Amtrak is the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its only high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy, and the nation forward. With over 50 years of rich American history, Amtrak has worked to transform a classic form of transportation, preserving those aspects of train travel that are timeless while modernizing other aspects to increase efficiency and comfort. In fiscal year 2019, Amtrak carried more than 32 million customers — proving that America’s longstanding love of travel still includes our classic and storied mode of transportation in its modern form.
The Railroad’s role in Black history is evident in the contributions Amtrak’s Pullman porters have made to America on and off the rails. The porters helped other Black families move north by spreading information about opportunities in northern cities; they delivered Black newspapers like the Chicago Defender and the Pittsburgh Courier to people hungry to read about their own stories; they brought music and records back and forth between north and south, spreading cultural movements that would change the nation. From the late 1860s through the late 1960s, Pullman porters served as human guidebooks for Black travelers, a resource for information about safe places to stay and eat as they traveled. Though the term ‘porter’ has been replaced with the more acceptable ‘sleeping car attendant’ their legacy remains an important part of Black History.
Amtrak’s Commitment to the Future
Connecting Amtrak’s past with our future is important. Amtrak has renewed its commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging with a sense of optimism and hope. The past year and a half of living through a pandemic has been challenging, but it has also been revealing. We are in a time of transformation. Our country has changed in many ways since Amtrak began nearly 50 years ago, and the times are calling on Amtrak to evolve even further – both inside and outside the company. We do more than simply run trains. We are a customer service and mobility company that provides a safe, modern, and efficient travel experience. To deliver on that promise, we have to be accountable to and for all of our stakeholders, which is why diversity, inclusion and belonging are so integral to our mission. At Amtrak, having a diverse workforce is more than “the right thing to do”; it is a business imperative. Amtrak is proud of its diverse workforce and is committed to creating a work environment where diverse backgrounds, experiences and ideas are welcomed, heard, and respected. Our goal is to create an inclusive environment where all employees have a true sense of belonging.
At the same time, we recognize that creating that environment is a complex and multifaceted task. We cannot do it alone or in a vacuum. So, while we are striving to continually improve diversity, inclusion and belonging in our own culture, we are also working to drive positive change for our communities, industry, and the country by working with our customers, suppliers, business partners and the communities we serve to push us all forward.
Whether you’re visiting far-away historic sites or just looking to take a short trip to experience history closer to home. Amtrak is a convenient, safe, and comfortable travel option. Rediscover History. Rediscover America. Just An Amtrak Away. Book Your Trip at Amtrak.com.