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

     (Mar 15, 2018)

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

  • Kiara Chavez

     (Mar 7, 2019)

    jordan park who cares, let them tell an important part of history that’s often neglected

  • rynb93

     (Mar 4, 2019)

    Who did the music?

  • syahir

     (Mar 15, 2018)

    I wonder if the one writing the book was glad that it finally became obsolete. 'Cause I would.

  • Kat Parks

     (8 hours ago)

    I think with the way America going right now I think they should bring the books back!

  • Asshat Smith

     (Feb 28, 2019)

    It won an oscar

  • YuranDeveloper

     (Mar 15, 2018)

    Why do such videos bother so many people when it's only telling history? People really like to hide the elephant in the room with a thin cloth. Big ups to Vox for all the effort put into the video, very informative

  • Milen Nedkov

     (Feb 26, 2019)

    There is a movie with this title, recommended

  • Haytak Haytak

     (Feb 26, 2019)

    Dan oz because black people have gotten a similar treatment from the us in years past so if you think it is important to talk native Americans then why would it not be important to talk blacks

  • Adrian Ferrette

     (Mar 15, 2018)

    It's funny. I see people fairly regularly going on about 'Why we're still talking about race'.1963 was only some 55 years ago, let that set in. 55 years.My grandmother is 83, she lived in a time where this was law. So did my dad and his siblings. This resonates with us all, PoC everywhere.Great video Vox.✊🏽

  • Shen Shen

     (Mar 7, 2019)

    Black people take an award from Hollywood White people doesn't mean equality. They don't need approval from a jury that consists 90% white people.

  • Laurie Jean

     (Mar 7, 2019)

    Yes! Why can't people understand this???

  • ret2rick

     (Mar 15, 2018)

    So true. My father was born before WWII, and he would tell me stories about how they would travel to visit family in NYC from Charleston, SC. They traveled overnight without stopping, not even to use the bathroom. Stops along the trip could mean certain risk to your safety, no matter if you were in the Deep South or up North. And the whole preparing food before the trip is spot on. My late aunt would always prepare food, so they never had to stop. Times are just different now, but then the concerns wer...

  • Nadja K

     (Mar 7, 2019)

    +Salpeteroxid Not a single place in Sweden is 99% black... 😂

  • J Girl

     (Mar 15, 2018)

    How are you not going to give someone gas??? Especially if you want them to leave lol

  • TheKrisyeah

     (Mar 6, 2019)

    +Zimmit's Fabulous Wonder Hoagies At least we don't commit 52% of violent crimes while being just 13% of the population.

  • Zimmit's Fabulous Wonder Hoagies

     (Mar 5, 2019)

    Because whites are the most evil, sickening group (outside of extremist muslims) that ever lived. I say this as a technical white person. I hate my stinking filthy "race", with a fiery passion, and the demonic hate they have spewed into the world for so many centuries, causing untold legions of pain, suffering and death. I truly hope every practicing racist, past or present, is burning in hell RIGHT NOW, for the evil they WILLINGLY participated bringing into and nurturing in the world!

  • lαиα Star Butterfly

     (Mar 15, 2018)

    My grandad STILL doesn't do road trips; after his uncounters in the late 60's, that was it. When my grandma got pregnant, he was done. He'll only go to our bi-annual family reunions cause they're on pre planned resorts. He's 69 years old.

  • cesar leon

     (Feb 27, 2019)

    that is very sad, hope the reality in US has changed for the new generation, i have seen lot of stories that indicate some ppl are still stupid enough to be racist. greetings and love from Mexico.

  • Fierag

     (Mar 16, 2018)

    It’s like you can’t even bring up history or facts without people trying to label your political affiliations. Whenever Liberal media touches on social topics it just brings out the haters.

  • Internet Omatic

     (Mar 14, 2019)

    +Richard Bergen yet conservatives were the ones to back segregation. odd.

  • Charles Kuhn

     (Mar 15, 2018)

    Great video. Greater music.

  • Asshat Smith

     (Feb 28, 2019)

    I agree

  • Not Politically Correct

     (Mar 17, 2018)

    Charles Kuhn Better pizzaBetter tastePapa johns

  • Vincent Matlock

     (Mar 15, 2018)

    Man my history is really depressing. 1964, just makes you realize how not so distant all of this was.

  • Mark Magill

     (Feb 28, 2019)

    I just don't get why skin color matters...I mean...really? SMH...

  • Paul Taylor

     (Feb 25, 2019)

    +Tappy Toes Okay, racist.