How to Participate in the Green Book Project

Green Books’ “Oasis Spaces”: African American Travel in NC, 1936-1966
(NC Green Book Project)

What was it like for African American families, business people, and individuals to travel in North Carolina during the Jim Crow Era? The “Green Book Project” will explore this question.
Over the next several months, a research team led by the NC African American Heritage Commission will explore the 327 North Carolina listings that existed in the Negro Motorist Green Book. The team’s discoveries—of what remains (or fails to exist) in the physical landscape; of black entrepreneurship; of physically navigating Jim Crow in North Carolina communities—will help all to understand a complex and fraught era in our state.

We need your help!

Currently, we are seeking:

  • Community Contacts (for oral histories and to share local historical information related to African American communities and business districts)
  • Stories—in person or submitted digitally (experiences traveling during the Jim Crow era in NC)
  • Archival materials (i.e. photographs, newspaper clippings, brochures)
  • 3-D objects (related to African American travel or businesses in NC that can be loaned for a traveling exhibition)

 

How can I participate?

The NC African American Heritage Commission is researching the 327 North Carolina sites listed in The Negro Motorist Green Book and documenting North Carolina stories of travel during racial segregation.
Community members can help tell the story! Project team members are looking to connect with North Carolina residents in the following ways:

  • To talk with the owners of Green Book sites or their families (if community members know who owned Green Book businesses and can help facilitate a connection).
  • To talk with community members willing to share their memories of the sites listed in the Green Book (ex: memories of a restaurant, service station, hotel, beauty shop).
  • To talk with community members willing to share their memories of businesses owned by or friendly towards African Americans during racial segregation.
  • To talk with community members willing to share stories about what it was like to travel in North Carolina during racial segregation (within the local community, to different parts of the state, or through North Carolina to other states).
  • To seek pictures or other forms of memorabilia of businesses listed in the Green Book (ex: an advertisement or brochure for a business).
  • To seek pictures of the African American travel experience (ex: images of a North Carolina African American family in the process of traveling or arriving at a destination).
  • To seek 3-D objects/artifacts related to a Green Book site or the African American travel experience (ex: a commemorative pin celebrating the anniversary of a business).

Information shared by community members will help to develop an online portal and traveling exhibit about North Carolina Green Book sites and the experiences of African American North Carolinians traveling during racial segregation.

To connect with the project or to recommend community members who can offer assistance, email or call: greenbooknc@ncdcr.gov 336-891-0288