Black Women Booted From the Napa Valley Wine Train Settle Lawsuit

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Photo: Lisa Renee Johnson/Facebook

Last year, a women’s book club made headlines after they were escorted off the Napa Valley Wine Train for being, as authorities on the train put it, too noisy. The Sistahs on the Reading Edge book club — ten black women and one white woman — were escorted through the train and removed at St. Helena, California, for “laughing and talking too loud.”

The story at the time sparked outrage that resulted in the hashtag #LaughingWhileBlack, as well as accusations of racism. It was in August that the women were asked to get off the train, and justice has finally been served. The New York Times reports that the women have now settled a lawsuit with the Napa Valley Wine Train, and while the group’s head representative, Lisa Johnson, said she could not disclose money details, “the group sought $11 million dollars in damages.”

Will the book club ride the Napa Valley Wine Train again? Johnson doesn’t think so. “I think we’re going to stick to limousines as our designated driver.”