In the 1940s, Americans open roads were a magical and inviting opportunity… for white people. People of color, however, were barred from many of the hotels, restaurants, and even gas stations that made travel possible and convenient. In the face of this, mailman Victor H. Green started publishing The Negro Motorist Green Book, a listing of establishments willing to serve African-American customers. It not only made the Jim Crow-era roads navigable for the Black traveler, it created business opportunities for Black entrepreneurs, as they knew that if they created hotels for Black customers, they had a route to let potential customers know.
In addition to the travel listings and ads that Black travelers relied on, the 1949 edition includes an introduction by Victor H. Green, an article by the Esso service stations’ special representative to the Black community on how the Green Book helps solves travel problems, a brief look at the 1949 Fords, a guide to what to see in Chicago, an article on the Black-owned and -operated town of Robbins, Illinois, and a travel guide to Bermuda.
The New York Times called the Green Book a “beacon for Black travelers.” The Washington Post said it was “a game changer.” Newsweek referred to it as “practical scripture” that “saved Black lives on the road.
- List Price: $9.99
- Paperback: 88 pages
- ISBN-10: 1949996026
- ISBN-13: 978-1949996029
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 6.8 inches