Guilty of being black in a white world: The ludicrous reason these women were thrown off of a train last weekend
Image: Lisa Renee Johnson

Over the weekend, the Sistahs on the Reading Edge Book Club, composed of 10 Black women and one white woman, were kicked off the Napa Valley Wine Train for laughing and talking too loudly on their way to a vineyard tour. These women were enjoying themselves and participating in a wine tasting when several passengers began to complain about them being too loud. They admitted to talking loudly, but indicated that they were just having a good time, and were not being disrespectful.

 It would be exceedingly hard for a group of 11 friends of any race or gender to travel together to a social event and remain quiet and inconspicuous. However, according to Lisa Johnson, one of the organizers and attendees of the event, after passengers began complaining about the group, they were forced to take their belongings, march through the length of the train, and disembark, where they were met by the police. Later, the Napa Valley Wine Train posted on Facebook that the women were verbally and physically abusive toward staff and other guests.

Both a spokesperson and the C.E.O. of the Wine Train have since retracted the incendiary statement, which they say was written by a “junior staffer,” and have admitted that it was factually incorrect. These women did not physically or verbally abuse anyone. Company executives also admit that it was unnecessary to force the women to march through the train.

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