Exhibit in Montgomery, Alabama unpacks the story of the “Green Book”

Throughout July, the Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery features a special exhibit, “The Green Book: Navigating Jim Crow America.” It explores the history of the annual Green Book travel guide, published from 1936 to 1966, which helped black people find safe housing and other necessities while traveling in the United States during the era of racial segregation. .

“As Americans take to the skies and the highways to travel with their families this summer, the Green Book exhibit is a reminder that the freedom to travel across the country hasn’t always come easy for Black Americans, especially at most fort of segregation,” Dorothy Walker, of the Freedom Rides Museum, said in a press release. “We hope people will visit the museum to learn more about how the Green Book helped play a role in American history and be inspired to help locate Green Book sites in their own communities.”

The Green Book lists hotels and guesthouses, restaurants, gas stations and other businesses across the country that welcome and respect black customers. The exhibit highlights Alabama sites listed in the Green Book, such as the AG Gaston Motel in Birmingham and the Ben Moore Hotel in Montgomery, and provides insight into how the Freedom Rides of the early 1960s, which took place in Alabama and other parts of the Southern United States and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 changed the way black Americans traveled.

Learn more about the exhibition and the green book in this video:

The Green Book guided black travelers through the segregated South of Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Angela C. Hale