In the Jim Crow era, the “Green Book” was an essential guide for black travelers. It listed safe places to stay and eat, and warned of areas to avoid. Gardner, Maine was one of the destinations listed. Join us as we explore the history of the “Green Book” and the black travelers who used it.
Checkout this video:
In the early twentieth century, black Americans began to assert their rights as citizens. The NAACP was founded in 1909, and the NAACP Travelers’ Aid Society in 1910. These organizations were created to help black Americans who were subjected to racial discrimination when they traveled.
In 1936, a New York City postman named Victor H. Green published The Negro Motorist Green Book, a guidebook for black American travelers. The book listed hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and other businesses that would serve black customers. It also provided advice on how to deal with racism while traveling.
The Green Book was published until 1967, when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race. The last edition of the Green Book listed Gardner, Maine, as a town where black travelers would be welcomed.
Today, there is no need for a guidebook like the Green Book, but its existence is a reminder of the racism that was once prevalent in America.
What is the Green Book?
The Green Book, also known as The Negro Motorist Green Book or The Traveler’s Green Book, was an annual publication that provided African American motorists with information about safe places to eat and stay, as well as gas stations, mechanics, and other businesses that were friendly to them.
The book was published from 1936 to 1966 by Victor H. Green & Co., a Harlem-based travel agency. It was created as a response to the discrimination and violence that black motorists faced while traveling through the United States.
The book listed businesses by state and city, and it included information about segregated areas, local customs, and things to do in each location. It also featured advertisements from black-owned businesses.
In addition to serving as a guide for black motorists, the Green Book was also used by civil rights activists as a tool for organizing freedom rides and other protesters during the Civil Rights Movement of the early 1960s.
Why was the Green Book created?
The Green Book was created as a guide for black travelers in the United States, who were often subject to discrimination and violence. It listed hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that would accept black customers.
How did the Green Book help black travelers?
The Green Book was a travel guide published from 1936 to 1966 that listed businesses that would welcome Black patrons. It was an important resource for black travelers during segregation, when they were often denied service at hotels, restaurants, and other businesses. The Green Book helped them find places where they could eat, sleep, and get gas and other supplies while on the road.
What happened to the Green Book?
The Green Book was a travel guide for African American travelers that was published from 1936 to 1966. The guide listed restaurants, hotels, gas stations, and other businesses that were black-friendly. It was a response to the widespread discrimination that black travelers faced while on the road.
The Green Book was created by Victor H. Green, a mailman from Harlem. He got the idea for the guide after hearing stories from friends and colleagues about their struggles to find lodging and food while traveling. The first edition of the Green Book listed only New York City businesses, but it soon expanded to cover all of the United States.
The Green Book was an important resource for black travelers during the Jim Crow era. It allowed them to plan trips and find places where they would be welcome. But with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the growth of the civil rights movement, black Americans began to have more options for travel and lodging. The last edition of the Green Book was published in 1966.
Legacy of the Green Book
In the Jim Crow era of American history, African American travelers faced many dangers and hardships while on the road. To help them navigate these challenges, Victor H. Green, a black postman from New York City, published The Negro Motorist Green Book beginning in 1936.
The Green Book listed hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and other businesses that were safe and welcoming to black customers. It was an essential resource for African Americans during a time when segregation was still the law of the land in many states.
Though the Civil Rights Movement put an end to legal segregation in the 1960s, The Green Book continued to be published until 1966, when it was no longer needed. Today, the book is considered an important part of African American history, and its legacy continues to be felt by black travelers today.
Negro Travelers in Gardner, Maine
In 1949, the “Negro Motorist Green Book” was published for the first time. The Green Book was a guidebook for black American travelers, offering advice on where they could safely stay, eat, and gas up while on the road. This was a time when segregation was still legally practiced in many parts of the United States, and black travelers often faced discrimination and even violence when trying to find accommodations.
The Green Book listed several businesses in Gardner, Maine that were “recommended” for black travelers. These included a hotel, a restaurant, and a service station. While we don’t know how many black travelers actually used the Green Book to plan their trips, we do know that it was an important resource for those who did.
Today, there are no longer any businesses listed in the Green Book in Gardner, Maine. However, there is now a museum dedicated to black history and culture that offers a glimpse into what life was like for black Americans during this time period.
The Green Book in Maine
In 1936, a man named Victor H. Green published The Negro Motorist Green Book, a guidebook aimed at helping African American motorists navigate the country without running into trouble. The book became widely popular, and by the early 1960s there were over 500,000 copies in circulation.
Maine was one of the states featured in the book, and Gardner was listed as a place where black travelers could find lodging, food, and gas. Unfortunately, very little is known about Gardner’s specific listings. However, we do know that the city was home to a number of black-owned businesses, including hotels, restaurants, and beauty shops.
If you’re interested in learning more about The Green Book and its impact on American history, we recommend checking out this article from NPR.
Negro Travelers in Gardner, Maine: The Green Book provides a unique and important look at the everyday lives of African Americans in the mid-twentieth century. By focusing on the experiences of travelers, the book provides a rare glimpse into the world of African American business owners, performers, and professionals. It is an essential resource for understanding race relations in America during this time period.
For more information on Negro travelers in Gardner, Maine, we suggest the following resources:
-The Green Book, by Hardy Wallace (ISBN: 0-9666388-0-1)
-A Negro Traveler’s Guide to Lodging and Dining in the United States, by Joseph S. Johnson (ISBN: 0-916134-00-2)