Michigan State University

The Negro Motorist Green Book

Kathleen Weessies

"There will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published." -- Victor Green, in the preface to the 1941 edition1940-cover-Negro_Motorist_Green_Book from Wikimedia Commons

From 1936 to 1966 Victor Green, and later his widow Alma Green, edited the Negro Motorist Green Book, which listed businesses that would serve black travelers without harassment or prejudice.  Race or ethnicity of the business owner was not a criteria for inclusion in the listings.  We examined 9 editions of the Green Book, and created a map of the 86 Detroit businesses listed.  Enjoy these interactive maps to learn more about them.  Running through November 2019 we have an exhibit in the Map Library which highlights Before & After pictures of several Detroit businesses.

Detroit Businesses by Type of Business

Detroit Businesses by Year - Click the Layers Icon (looks like 3 stacked sheets) to turn on and off various years.

GreenBook-Detroit-interative map screen shot
View of the interactive map showing characteristics of the property location then and now.

broads and champion locations, Sanborn map on the left, google street view image on the right Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, left; Google Street View, right

Billie Holiday Club Zombie-From Detroit Tribune via Library of Congress
Advertisement from the Detroit Tribune (from the Library of Congress Chronicling America Project)



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