The New York Public Library has blogged about the Green Books that were the genesis for this year’s Academy Award Winner for Best Picture.
From 1936 to 1966, Victor Hugo Green, a postal worker who worked in New Jersey and lived in Harlem, published the directories known today as the Green Book. The actual titles included The Negro Motorist Green Book, The Negro Travelers’ Green Book, and The Travelers’ Green Book. The books listed hotels, restaurants, beauty salons, nightclubs, bars, and gas stations where Black travelers would be welcome. In an age of sundown towns, segregation, and lynching, the Green Book became an indispensable tool for safe navigation.