The Green Book
Our Black History traveling trunk contains various objects for students to explore in addition to a video presentation. The item that is included is a 1949 edition of “The Negro Motorist Green Book”. This was an essential US guide for African Americans traveling during the segregation era. It listed businesses and accommodations that welcomed people of color. This would avoid, as quoted in the book, “running into difficulties, embarrassments” from entering an establishment that excluded African Americans, and even whole towns (called ‘sundown towns’) where African Americans were legally barred from staying overnight.
There were only three entries for Nevada, and just one in Las Vegas – the Harrison Guest House, in Westside – more on that later this week.
Originally produced for Metropolitan New York, it became an annually produced national guide in 1937 until, as its pages describe, “a day sometime in the future when this guide will not have to be published. That is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States.” Its creator, Victor H. Green, never saw that day, passing away in 1960 before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
For more info on our Black History Traveling Trunk, created in collaboration with Carmen Beals, please click here