We originally featured Navigating the Green Book in the 2-5-2016 Scout Report, and this resource is still a wonderful way to learn about an important aspect of African-American history.
Between 1936 and 1967, a black postal worker from Harlem named Victor Green published an annual directory known as the Green Book. In it, Mr. Green listed businesses that would gladly (and safely) serve African-American travelers, including hotels and restaurants, nightclubs and bars, beauty salons and gas stations. Here, readers will find an inspiring new project from the New York Public Library that engages public domain collections of the Green Books. Readers may browse covers from the 1947, 1948, 1955, 1956, and 1960 issues, explore the digital collection itself, or map a trip using aggregated data from a number of the books. This last feature offers the most creative way to navigate the Green Book. After entering a starting point and a destination, the program uses data from the original guides to visualize where black travelers would have been allowed to stop for a drink, buy gas, eat at a restaurant, or sleep. For readers interested in the history of discrimination in the United States, these excellent resources will pay big dividends.