The Negro Motorist Green Book — an exhibition developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in collaboration with award-winning author, photographer and cultural documentarian, Candacy Taylor — offers a visually immersive look at the reality of travel for African Americans in mid-20th century America. The Negro Motorist Green Book was more than a travel guide. It was a shield, empowering Black people to explore their world with more dignity than fear, more elegance than embarrassment.
Started in 1936 by Harlem postman Victor Green, The Negro Motorist Green Book was a guide published over three decades that helped African Americans travel the country safely, and with dignity, during a time of Jim Crow laws and segregation. The Green Book was also an indispensable resource for the era’s successful Black-owned businesses and rising African American middle class.