The real story of the Green Book

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  • Published on:  Thursday, March 15, 2018
  • Until the Civil Rights Act passed in 1964, the Green Book was critical for black Americans wanting to travel across the country. Subscribe to our channel! tripping in the 20th century became an iconic American obsession, and the rising middle class was eager to travel the country on the new interstate highway system. The Green Book was a unique travel guide during this time, when segregation was practiced all over the country.The book, which grew to cover locations in all 50 states, listed hotels, restaurants, gas stations, beauty salons, and other services that would reliably serve African Americans. The listings grew from user correspondence and a network of African American postal workers under the guidance of Victor Hugo Green, the book’s publisher.The American road trip would go on to be an anchor in the civil rights discussion, as it highlighted the injustices and prejudice that African Americans suffered under Jim Crow. Before the Civil Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination in public accommodations, Victor Green’s booklet helped black Americans navigate their country. Note: The headline for this video has been updated since publishing.Previous headline: The guide book that helped black Americans travel during is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out our full video catalog: Vox on Facebook: Twitter:


  • Vox
    Vox  a years ago +533

    Want to see Green Book listings in your hometown? Check out these amazing scans of several editions from the New York Public Library:

  • Adrian Ferrette
    Adrian Ferrette  a years ago +2812

    It's funny. I see people fairly regularly going on about 'Why we're still talking about race'.
    1963 was only some 55 years ago, let that set in. 55 years.
    My grandmother is 83, she lived in a time where this was law. So did my dad and his siblings.
    This resonates with us all, PoC everywhere.
    Great video Vox.

  • YuranDeveloper
    YuranDeveloper  a years ago +3358

    Why do such videos bother so many people when it's only telling history? People really like to hide the elephant in the room with a thin cloth. Big ups to Vox for all the effort put into the video, very informative

  • ret2rick
    ret2rick  a years ago +2051

    So true. My father was born before WWII, and he would tell me stories about how they would travel to visit family in NYC from Charleston, SC. They traveled overnight without stopping, not even to use the bathroom. Stops along the trip could mean certain risk to your safety, no matter if you were in the Deep South or up North. And the whole preparing food before the trip is spot on. My late aunt would always prepare food, so they never had to stop. Times are just different now, but then the concerns were legitimate.

  • J Girl
    J Girl  a years ago +1688

    How are you not going to give someone gas??? Especially if you want them to leave lol

  • lαиα Star Butterfly
    lαиα Star Butterfly  a years ago +260

    My grandad STILL doesn't do road trips; after his uncounters in the late 60's, that was it. When my grandma got pregnant, he was done. He'll only go to our bi-annual family reunions cause they're on pre planned resorts. He's 69 years old.

  • Charles Kuhn
    Charles Kuhn  a years ago +1491

    Great video. Greater music.

  • Olivia From The Burbs
    Olivia From The Burbs  a years ago +559

    I think my grandmother still has hers. She did a lot of traveling during that time and used to tell me stories about how she faced segregation. My step-grandpa is 95 years of age and probably has knowledge of this.

  • Attwood TV
    Attwood TV  a years ago +350

    It's the American Dream,yet it's not for every American

  • Fierag
    Fierag  a years ago +1673

    It’s like you can’t even bring up history or facts without people trying to label your political affiliations. Whenever Liberal media touches on social topics it just brings out the haters.

  • Dominik Gadecki
    Dominik Gadecki  a years ago +675

    I am not American, but WOW didnt know that the segregation was so bad that even you would be denied service at the gas station!

  • Geraldine O
    Geraldine O  a years ago +314

    They should now do a red book for business to stay away from that are ran by the prejudice and racist. Trust me they’re still out there.

  • Jordan Taylor
    Jordan Taylor  a years ago +723

    Uh-oh, Vox mentioned black people. Prepare for the dislikes.

  • AntiMessiah
    AntiMessiah  a years ago +470

    #USA had segregation as late as 1960s??? No wonder the older generation loves #FoxNews 😨

  • Sam Dragonborn
    Sam Dragonborn  a years ago +81

    Ooh, I’ve heard of this book, I wonder if there any old editions on EBay, it would be fascinating to take it on a road trip, see which places are still open and such

  • Scott Fortune
    Scott Fortune  a years ago +124

    In addition to the Green Book, Black people used a more colloquial tool to find lodging and services for People of Color: Word of Mouth.
    When my parents travelled through the segregated South, if they didn’t know someone from the area they would simply follow the first Black person they saw. They knew that the person would eventually lead them to the “Black Side” of town, where they would find lodging, food and entertainment. Almost all large towns had a thriving retail community owned and operated by the minority populace.
    Unfortunately, desegregation had a terrible impact on Black-Owned businesses and centers of commerce.

  • Lee
    Lee  a years ago +55

    Never forget how recent this was.

  • Roy
    Roy  a years ago +197

    This video touched my heart, thank you for making this

  • Mark Anthony
    Mark Anthony  a years ago +24

    It makes sense how America is so racist today. It’s really not too long ago that this was way of life. Lots of people who were allowed to be openly racist are still alive but have been relatively silenced. Their thoughts and habits probably didn’t get lost just because others object. Racism is rampant in America again, thanks to their lack of leadership. They are gaining back the ability to say how they truly feel publicly.

  • Jenner Arkannsas
    Jenner Arkannsas  a years ago +252

    The comments are fairly good and nice now. But ,as we all know, the party poopers are on their way😔