"The Negro Motorist Green Book"

Repeats daily from Oct 3, 2020 until Jan 3, 2021
Oct 3, 2020
Jan 3, 2021
450 Mulberry
Memphis, TN 38103
National Civil Rights Museum

Started in 1936 by Harlem postman Victor Green, The Negro Motorist Green Book was an annual guide 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.

Step into the reality of mid-century travel for African Americans in this all-new immersive exhibition. In an era of Jim Crow laws and "sundown towns"-communities that explicitly prohibited African Americans from staying overnight-offered critical, life-saving information and sanctuary.  The exhibition will not only highlight the success of many Black-owned businesses that made these journeys possible; it will offer viewers a chance to visually engage with the people who made the journeys.

"The Negro Motorist Green Book" exhibition includes film, photographs, art installations, interactives, oral histories from travelers and Green Book business owners; comparisons of Green Book sites then and now; historical objects from the Smithsonian and from Green Book sites, including a rare example of a Green Book, matchbooks, business signs, brochures, "sundown" signs, and historical documents.

The traveling exhibition is premiering at the Lorraine Motel, now operating as the National Civil Rights Museum, one of few Green Book sites remaining.  The Negro Motorist Green Book was created by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with Candacy Taylor and made possible through the generous support of Exxon Mobil Corporation.