The real story of the Green Book

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  • Published on:  Thursday, March 15, 2018
  • Until the Civil Rights Act passed in 1964, the Green Book was critical for black Americans wanting to travel across the country.

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    Road tripping in the 20th century became an iconic American obsession, and the rising middle class was eager to travel the country on the new interstate highway system. The Green Book was a unique travel guide during this time, when segregation was practiced all over the country.

    The book, which grew to cover locations in all 50 states, listed hotels, restaurants, gas stations, beauty salons, and other services that would reliably serve African Americans. The listings grew from user correspondence and a network of African American postal workers under the guidance of Victor Hugo Green, the book’s publisher.

    The American road trip would go on to be an anchor in the civil rights discussion, as it highlighted the injustices and prejudice that African Americans suffered under Jim Crow. Before the Civil Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination in public accommodations, Victor Green’s booklet helped black Americans navigate their country.

    Note: The headline for this video has been updated since publishing.
    Previous headline: The guide book that helped black Americans travel during segregation is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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  • Vox


     a years ago +535

    Want to see Green Book listings in your hometown? Check out these amazing scans of several editions from the New York Public Library:

  • Marcellis Maggett

    Marcellis Maggett


    sub to prototype marcellis
    great chan



     21 days ago +1


  • ́Chris Pratt

    ́Chris Pratt

     28 days ago

    Thank God I was born in the 90s

  • The South East Londoner

    The South East Londoner

     a months ago +1

    Powerful clip

  • The South East Londoner

    The South East Londoner

     a months ago

    Sounds like an extremely frightening time for Black Americans. Terrible that something so simple as travel was made so difficult and with life threatening consequences! 😣😥😥

  • Ameem Rashaad

    Ameem Rashaad

     a months ago

    I'm not American but I like to dig into other country's history as well as my own. But when I dive deep into American history.

    God bless America :))))

  • sean hantz

    sean hantz

     2 months ago

    3:12 - I'm laughing at the kids riding in the back. They're not wearing seatbelts, and their heads appear to be slightly above the top of the windshield, which means in a head on crash, they'll set a record for "Furthest Distance From A Vehicle A Headless Corpse Travels After A Crash."

  • Fewa Television HD

    Fewa Television HD

     2 months ago

    Could you please make a real story on mud-bound too?

  • Duck


     4 months ago +1

    I still won’t stop in the south to go to the bathroom, those restrooms are nasty...

  • Nixon in China

    Nixon in China

     4 months ago

    Good to see a movie about the Gaddafi book

  • Ashleigh Joe

    Ashleigh Joe

     5 months ago +1

    God I started tearing up a bit bc I grew up in a small town along route 66 and often we traveled town to town to aquire what we need (do laundry, legal work, hospitals/clinics) so those gas stations and hotels have always been part of home for me. Seeing how people of color, specifically black people were treated in towns like my hometown and having that American dream of roadtrips ruined for them idk im rambling and emotional. I'm so thankful things have changed

  • Heauxmade


     5 months ago +1

    It’s crazy how sun down towns STILL exist to this day and versions of his green book have become apps to STILL help guide black people to safe areas to live and rest. But y’all get mad when we talk about race. Sure it’s a new day, but the same hate still exists.

  • Kat Parks

    Kat Parks

     5 months ago +1

    I would like to see a new green book that way I would support African American businesses.

  • Linus TheXman

    Linus TheXman

     5 months ago +1

    As a child in the 1970s, my grandparents would start at 3am with loads of food prepared before our travels from Mississippi to Chicago only stopping in Memphis and St. Louis for gas and restroom breaks along the way. I'm not even 50 and I can remember the residual of a time just before me...That old Chevy Impala sure could put in work.

  • Moon Shadow

    Moon Shadow

     5 months ago

    political correctness exist for a reason, try to not get tired of it so fast we have a long way to go

  • Kare Carado

    Kare Carado

     6 months ago +1

    Who came here after Green Book’s Oscar success?

  • Ratna N

    Ratna N

     6 months ago

    Never thought this kind of story was happened not too long ago. I thought it was at least in the 1800s.

  • Freddy Krueger

    Freddy Krueger

     6 months ago +1

    Someone should make an updated Green book just to see how many of these businesses listed in the original Green book are still around. Would be interesting to visit some of these places if they still existed - if you are history buff that is.

  • Ionescu Alexandru Bogdan

    Ionescu Alexandru Bogdan

     6 months ago

    C'mon don't make it so it sounds so racist... Just Democrats doing their job