Interactive map of places traveled to by Grahams
August 10, 1965, Benjamin and Frances Graham, an African American married couple from Baltimore, Maryland, with no prior camping experience, accompanied by their three small children, embarked on their maiden voyage to the New York World's Fair in their newly purchased 17’ Stardust RV Trailer. That same week, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Watts Riots erupted for which 14,000 National Guardsman were deployed, 34 people were killed (31 African Americans), 1,000 were injured, and 4,000 were jailed. In the end, they traveled 35 years, in 3 trailers, 94, 219.80 miles, spending $32,600.05 to every state but two.
I am developing a documentary, Everyone But Two: The Life, Love and Travel of Benjamin and Frances Graham. Benjamin Graham (my grandfather) kept meticulous logs tracking every detail of their trips; i.e., routes driven and the amounts spent on gas, groceries and camp fees. In essence, I can retrace their steps and tell their compelling story as African Americans traveling by RV trailer thru America during a turbulent time in American history.
There are 4 stages to the project. Stage I: research and document the Civil Rights Movement and racial climate at the time and location of their travels. Stage II [Ruby Grant, 1st year]: retrace and document with elements of the trips, using their log, to travel the 48 contiguous states. Stage III [2nd year]: using an itinerary prepared by the Graham’s, I would travel as a surrogate to Alaska and Hawaii and document the trip for the Grahams, thus completing the journey for them. Stage IV: document me sharing my experience traveling to Alaska and Hawaii with the Grahams as a symbolic conclusion.