Greenbook1Route 66 and the Historic Negro Motorist Green Book

 

 

Route 66 is widely recognized around the world as an icon of 20th-century America, emphasizing personal mobility and pursuit of the American Dream. However, the experience of driving and working on the road was not the same for everyone.

Route 66 was a mirror-reflection of the social values of the time, and its history can tell many of the deeper and sometimes painful stories about American life in the first half of the 20th century. This includes stories of racial discrimination for African American and other travelers.

To help shed light on these important stories, the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program has undertaken the Route 66 Green Book Project. The “Green Book”, known variously as the Negro Motorist Green Book and the Negro Travelers’ Green Book, was an annual travel guide published from 1936 to 1964 by Victor H. Green. It was intended to provide African American travelers with lodging, dining, and other information necessary to stay safe and comfortable during the era of segregation prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The purpose of the Route 66 Green Book Project is to identify properties in Route 66 communities that were listed in the Green Book (as well as other black traveler guides), and to determine if they are still standing. With this information, it is possible to promote the preservation and commemoration of these buildings, and gain insights and understanding of African American experiences of Route 66.

Discover more about Route 66 and the Green Book through the introductory film below, written and produced by Candacy Taylor in partnership with the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.

For a complete list of Route 66 Green Book locations, click here.

To view a full collection of all Green Books published between 1936-1964, click here.

 

Interactive Map of Route 66 Greenbook locations.

For a full screen version, click here.

 

 

The Negro Motorist Green Book and Route 66

Video With Transcript