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Louisiana State Museum showcases Negro Motorist Green Book

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 8:55 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Around the mid 1930′s there was an increase in the African American middle class, creating opportunity for more traveling. But with Jim Crow laws and segregation still in place, traveling sometimes could dangerous.

For 30 years, the Negro Motorist Green Book helped black families safely travel in America.

“It covered 10,000 businesses over the course of its existence from 1936 to 1967,” said Rodneyna Hart, Division Director with the Louisiana State Museum.

The book was created by Victor Green, a U.S. postman, and his brother-n-law, a traveling musician. The two men included well-known restaurants, hotels, gas stations, and other places that allowed blacks to visit.

The Louisiana State Museum now has an exhibition showcasing the Green Book and its impact on American history. At each station museum goers will get to immerse themselves on a road trip in Mid-century America.

One of the few Green Book sites that are still in existence is the Lincoln Hotel, and we know that that’s going to be renovated soon and we’re super excited about it,” said Hart.

Hart says she is hopeful this new exhibition will be a celebration and learning for both young and old.

This is a real very present history, this is not generations ago; this is a generation. This is your parents’. If we don’t address the history, the lived experience of people who came before us. we’re doomed to repeat it,” said Hart.

The exhibition will be open until Sunday, November 14.

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