A series of travel books written for African Americans travelling in the segregated US of the last century, which listed the places in which they were allowed to stay, shop and eat, is being republished in facsimile editions. Recent sales have topped 10,000 copies. Harlem postal worker Victor Hugo Green published the first guide, The Negro Motorist Green Book, in 1936. It listed the hotels, shops and restaurants that accepted custom from black people: “Carry your Green Book with you … you may need it.” Further editions would follow through the 1940s, 50s and 60s, until civil rights laws brought an end to legal segregation. The Green Book became a necessity for the rising African American middle classes, who had the financial means to travel, but were barred from staying in certain hotels or eating in particular restaurants. Nat Gertler, publisher at About Comics in California, has just republished the 1947 edition of the guide, having previously released facsimiles of the 1940, 1954 and 1963 books. According to Gertler, in just over a year, the Green Book facsimiles have sold 10,000 copies, through online sales and in gift shops in institutions including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History… Read full this story
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