New Display Debuts at the NC Museum of History

Learn about the Green Book beginning Jan. 28
Nc Museum Of History

The North Carolina Museum of History has a new pop-up panel display opening this Jan. 28. Learn fascinating details about the Green Book, the annual travel guide that helped African Americans navigate Jim Crow segregation. Published from 1936 to 1966, it pointed African American travelers to restaurants, lodging and car repair establishments, and other businesses that would serve them. The traveling exhibition showcases images of business owners, travelers and North Carolina sites, along with oral history quotes and memories from African American travelers and descendants of Green Book site owners. A well-used copy of the 1959 edition is displayed in the current museum exhibit Beach Music: Making Waves in the Carolinas

The Green Book featured over 300 North Carolina businesses, including 38 in the Triangle. The African American Community considered keeping a copy of the book an absolute necessity to survive travel during that time, particularly in so-called “sundown towns” throughout the U.S. where they were not allowed out after dark.

Reproduction copies of several editions of the Green Book are available for purchase in the Museum Shop. The shop also has copies of Overground Railroad, by Candacy Taylor, and Driving While Black, by historian Gretchen Sorin. If you cannot get into the shop physically, order online for shipping or curbside pickup.

The North Carolina African American Heritage Commission and its Oasis Spaces Project developed this display, and the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources designed it. Funding was provided by a 2017 grant award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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