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Black Women ‘Humiliated’ After Being Removed From Napa Valley Wine Train for Volume Issues

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By Richardine Bartee

Laughing while black is a crime: If you’re not familiar with Napa Valley Wine Train, it is a restored historic train that offers a scenic wine country tour in Napa, California. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well, over the weekend 11 African-American women, who are apart of a book club, were removed from the train for laughing and talking too loud. The women recount the experience as “humiliating” and have been given a full refund by the company but the group of women are seeking a public apology from Napa Valley Wine Train. According to, the book club were removed because “other customers complained about their volume.” The eleven women, who come together to make the book club “Sisters on the Reading Edge”, were on their annual trip.

Lisa Johnson, one of the women who was kicked off of the train stated, “It was humiliating. I’m really offended to be quite honest.” The 47-year-old continues, “I felt like it was a racist attack on us. I feel like we were being singled out.”

Kira Devitt, a spokeswoman from the California train company released a statement, and it reveals that Napa Valley Wine Train have “received complaints from several parties in the same car and after three attempts from staff, requesting that the group keep the noise to an acceptable level, they were removed from the train and offered transportation back to the station in Napa.”

Reportedly, Johnson, the book club owner recalled that “the women, all seated near each other, were laughing and having a good time as they traveled the 18-mile picturesque trek from Napa to St. Helena.” International Business Times continued, “But in the middle of the trip a manager told the group “this isn’t going to work,” and asked them to “tone it down,” before deciding to eject the women.”

Lisa Johnson told the SF Chronicle, “It was a bizarre thing for all of us. The most humiliating part of the trip was the “walk of shame” past passengers on six other cars, toward the platform, where police officers were waiting.”

Since, social media has responded accordingly: “Some people are so repulsed by Black joy,” tweeted @brownblaze and “Kicked for laughing. Complaint from one woman support from others. #laughingwhileback Napa valley Wine Train”, tweeted by @TeeCLMcDee.

What people are saying

20 thoughts on “Black Women ‘Humiliated’ After Being Removed From Napa Valley Wine Train for Volume Issues

  1. Po Li says:

    PeeJay Clarke i guess this is more obvious if you know and feel the historical context of what is going on. Personally, i am a quiet one and have been put off by other's noise in the past, but rather like the "black joy" expression and experience from the outside. If it was just about levels of noise, you'd think that there would be a more friendly way to handle that without removing people from the train. That part just seems an overreaction.

  2. I don't see how this is racist. If they were being to loud and other people were bothered by it, they should be asked to leave. I see people being kicked out of places for being loud.

  3. Doug Kinney says:

    Never having been to California, I have no idea how critical either locals or visitors are of others, but I suspect the liberals there are just as intolerant of these black women as they are of Christians, heterosexuals, the obese, and other groups I don't read about on the conservative news sites. Apparently, the people on the train can't read, because if they ever checked the definition of "liberal" in their Funk and Wagnalls, they would find it means "open minded." As for their noise level, the orthers aboard should be happy to see happy, joyful people. They must be envious.

  4. This is about controlling Black women. This is about preserving the "atmosphere" at Napa, where only affluent white folks could get to. Now that Black People have made their way around the first, second and third sets of barriers that KEPT us from places like this, we get kicked off the train for having fun. What kind of noise level do you think gets you kicked off of the train?

  5. Burke Candy says:

    BLACK women kick off a train for being happy only sunday morning i heard on bbc radio 4 that the indians were planning a univerity of laughter that will provide lots of health benifits and now this we cannot win .THEY were lucky if they were rowing they could have been shot.

  6. Terry Moore says:

    Yep, white man…..

  7. Hank Wilson says:

    BBB-born being black, LWB-laughing while black, DWB-driving while black, WWB-walking while black, RWB-running while black, TWB-talking while black, IWB-intelligent while black, TWB-thinking while black, BWB-beautiful while black.

  8. Philip those are quite a lot of assumptions you are making which I didn't quite see written about in the above article.

  9. White or black, some people just don't know how to act in public. These weren't young kids – they are grown women. They should have known better. If you are in public and you have to be asked three times to quiet down, then you've got to go. How is this about race?

  10. I'm a white person and it sure sounds racist to me. What kind of books they read? You are sounding a bit racist, yourself.

  11. Too much political correctness in USA these days. Women are supposed to be 'The fairer sex'. Guys in a group are loud and raucous..typical american after a few beers. Women are supposed to act differently and keep themselves in check…white or black. If they dont, others have the right to correct them if the environment in which they find themselves does not suit their actions. At a football game it might be okay, but not on a train. I'm not a racist, I just dont like bad manners, especially when displayed by women.

  12. Tre Williams says:

    Carol J Robertson Your white?

  13. These women were not singled about "because they're Black" come on people. Wake the f*ck up and start being PEOPLE.

  14. It makes no difference what color he is – the content of his comment is RIGHT ON POINT. Shame on you racist idiots. Playing the race-card falsely is NOT HELPING us in any way and it's getting really tiresome. How about we step up our game and stop hiding behind our Blackness.

  15. Had they simply been "happy and joyful" this would never have happened.

  16. Peejay Clarke..You are a racist against white people. You attitude shows that you hate us all because….in your own mind.. we are better. Wake up and smell the roses. You want respect from others….earn it.

  17. oxymoronic statement. u have to understand the dynamic referenced in that word to wield it and it would appear u do not. typical white privilege. u cannot continue to dictate thew universe. reference sam cookes music. it is not in keeping with the order of things, P C.

  18. i would not ride anymore, boycott them

  19. PeeJay Clarke The atmosphere on a Napa wine train is supposed to be quiet so people can enjoy the scenery. They were asked 3 times to tone it down. After three times of being asked and they still can't quiet down, then they deserved to get kicked off. Some people just need to learn how to behave in an appropriate way for the situation they are in

  20. It shouldn't be about race. The media spins stuff to be about race just to divide us by race which will create more views for them. Stuff like this includes using the term 'white police officer' and 'black man' whenever a white cop shoots a black person. It just makes the story about race when it could be about police brutality or an easily preventable death. Even one of Michael Brown's relatives said that he didn't like the media using 'white police officer' and 'black teenager'

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