RALEIGH, N.C. — Did you know that over 300 businesses in North Carolina were listed in the Negro Motorist Green Book? In fact, there were 327.
“The Negro Motorist Green Book,” published between 1936 and 1966, was both a travel guide and a tool of resistance designed to confront the realities of racial discrimination in the United States and beyond. The book listed over 300 North Carolina businesses — from restaurants and hotels, to tourist homes, nightclubs and beauty salons — in the three decades that it was published. The exhibit “Navigating Jim Crow: The Green Book and Oasis Spaces in North Carolina” highlights a complex statewide network of business owners and Green Book sites that allowed African American communities to thrive and created “oasis spaces” for a variety of African American travelers. This exhibit is currently on display in the Capitol’s rotunda and will be available for viewing Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. until June 28. There is no charge to see the exhibit.
If you can’t get to the Capitol to see the Green Book exhibit, it will pop up in Raleigh’s Moore Square (near Square Burger) during First Friday on June 4 from 6-8 p.m., and at Moore Square Market Sunday, June 13 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. State Capitol staff will be with the exhibit to answer any questions. Visitors can view the exhibit and also grab information on the new Green Book self-guided walking tour of the sites of historic Raleigh businesses mentioned in the Green Book. The tour will be available exclusively online. In the event of rain, pop up exhibitions may be moved.
For more information on the exhibit while it is at the State Capitol, call 919-733-4994 or email Natalie.Rodriguez@ncdcr.gov.
The State Capitol’s mission is to preserve and interpret the history and function of the 1840 building and Union Square. It is within the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and located at One Edenton Street, Raleigh. For additional information please call or visit https://historicsites.nc.gov/.
The Green Book exhibit was curated by the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission. The North Carolina General Assembly created the African American Heritage Commission (AAHC) in 2008 to “assist the Secretary of Cultural Resources in the preservation, interpretation, and promotion of African American history, arts, and culture.” With this legislation the AAHC has identified African American heritage practitioners, such as curators, docents, and museum directors, as priority service populations. The AAHC was recognized as a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources in 2017, after being housed in the Office of Archives and History and the North Carolina Arts Council. The commission works across the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to achieve the mission of preserving, protecting, and promoting North Carolina’s African American history, art, and culture, for all people. For more information about the Commission, please visit https://aahc.nc.gov/.