“You Will Find It Handy”: Twentieth-Century African American Travel Guides
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
The growth of automobile usage during the twentieth century brought more and more American drivers out on the open road. But refusal of service and other threats made travel extremely difficult for African-Americans. One solution came from Victor H. Green, who between 1937 and 1963 published The Green Book, a guide for African-Americans traveling throughout the United States, Canada, Alaska, and Mexico. The Green Book was one of the most extensive and best known travel guides on the market. It listed the names and addresses of businesses, tourist homes, hotels, service stations, barber shops, beauty parlors, restaurants, bars, and taverns that would serve African-Americans during the pre-Civil Rights Act era.
The New York Public Library has recently digitized its collection of The Green Books. Check out their entire collection at their website, digitalcollections.nypl.org!
A consortium of historians is preparing posters highlighting the surviving Green Book sites in each state and documenting their unique character. Architectural and landscape historian Jennifer Reut will present an overview of The Green Book history and the goals of the ongoing poster project. Poster preparers Susan Hellman, Catherine W. Zipf, and Anne E. Bruder will be on hand to discuss their work and findings. Additional information on the presenters is available on the event page of our website.
The First Congregational United Church of Christ
945 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
6:30 pm – reception, 7:00 pm – lecture
Reservations are not required. $10.00 for Latrobe Chapter members, student members (full time) free with ID, $15.00 for non-members (reduced admission for non-members!).