The Negro Motorist Green Book

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The Negro Motorist Green Book
March 19 – June 12, 2022
From the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
When the first Negro Motorist Green Book was published in 1936, the American road was a metaphor for freedom. Yet, in 20th century America, this same road was a dangerous place for Black citizens. The land was divided by segregation—through policy or through custom. If you were Black, the prejudice was severe: a systematic effort to deny access to your basic human rights. And yet, African Americans created destinations and strategies that affirmed their humanity, and took to the roads with ingenuity, with community, and with the help of a Harlem postman named Victor Green. “The Green Book” travel guide provided African American travelers with critical information on restaurants, gas stations, stores, accommodations, and other businesses that welcomed Black travelers during the era of Jim Crow and “sundown towns.” This multimedia experience shares the guide’s rich history through photographs, art installations, interactives, historic objects, and recordings from travelers and Green Book business owners. It also focuses on the vibrant parallel world of African American businesses and the rise of the Black leisure class. The exhibition was created by the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service and curated by Candacy Taylor, a leading Green Book scholar and award-winning author, photographer, and documentarian, and is made possible through the generous support of Exxon Mobil Corporation. See it at the Washington State History Museum. Details at www.washingtonhistory.org.
Image credit: Four young African American women standing beside a convertible automobile, ca. 1958. Courtesy WANN Radio Station Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

  • Saturday, Mar. 19 - Saturday, Jun. 4, 2022
  • Location: 1911 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA
  • Phone: (253) 272-3500
  • Time: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Price: $11-14; kids under 5 FREE; members FREE
The Negro Motorist Green Book
  • March 19, 2022 to June 5, 2022
  • Washington State History Museum
  • $11-14; kids under 5 FREE; members FREE