The Green Book: How people of color traveled safely through North Carolina during segregation

You may have heard of the Oscar-nominated movie, the 'Green Book,' but did you know it was an actual book?

According to Earl Ijames, curator at the North Carolina Museum of History, the Green Book started in 1936 by Victor Hugo Green, a post carrier in Harlem, New York.

"It was started as a way to guide what was called 'Negro' motorists throughout the country, particularly during the era of segregation," says Ijames. "Here in the Raleigh area, people know that they could travel safe from East Raleigh downtown to the Hayti community in Durham."

A picture of the Green Book used in North Carolina to inform African-Americans where it was safe to travel. (Source: North Carolina Museum of History)



ABC11 visited some of the places in the Triangle listed in the Green Book.

Ijames says it's important to keep things in perspective.

"A lot of travelers today take for granted the ease of travel, of being able to go to any establishment, to be able to pull off the road pretty much at any rest stop and use the rest room...and that was not commonly available particularly to people of color during the Jim Crow-segregated era. So, the whole purpose of this particular pamphlet was to help navigate to those safe spaces."
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