Where the Green Book was meant for the traveler, the World War II-era California Negro Directory was meant for the local community, full of business listings and fascinating ads for Black-owned and Black-friendly businesses, not just for various cities California, but for the states of Washington and Oregon as well. (The guide, which was apparently a just-Los Angeles product in previous editions, is still LA-centric, with Los Angeles listings taking up about half the book.) It also has White Page-style listings of the local inhabitants (such as the page 173 listing for “Robinson, Jack” – i.e., baseball superstar Jackie Robinson and his Pasadena home), and a Who’s Who guide of notables in the back (which, like many such guides, seems to have been influenced by who was paying for inclusion), and introductory notes by the Governor of California (“We have no poll tax in California,” he says, pushing how open the state is to Black citizens), the Mayor of Los Angeles, and the compilers of the book (Warren C. Vinston and Anita Grant, who note that the book “is not an achievement of the compilers but of the Race” and suggest that “Next to your Bible use it most.”)
Compiled by Warren C. Vinston and Anita Grant
List Price: $20.00
8.5″ x 11″
Black & White on Cream paper
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