The Negro Motorist Green Book

There was a time not so long ago when traveling in the United States was unsafe for African-Americans. Motels and restaurants didn’t have to serve you if they didn’t want to. “Sundown towns”—places where it was unsafe to be black at night—dotted the nation’s geography.

In the 1930s black civic leader Victor H. Green began publishing a guide for black travellers called The Negro Motorist Green Book. It was intended to provide African American motorists and tourists with the information necessary to board, dine, and sightsee comfortably and safely during the era of segregation.

In its heyday, each edition of the Green Book was selling around 15,000 copies. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed the types of racial discrimination that had made the Green Book necessary and publication ceased.

Much more: Fusion