In the Academy Award winning movie Green Book, pianist Don Shirley and his driver, nightclub bouncer Tony “Lip’ Vallelonga used the titular guide book to find places that served black travelers during Shirley’s 1962 concert tour of the Deep South.
From 1936 to 1965, the The Negro Motorist Green Book, later The Traveler’s Green Book, provided a no-frills listing of restaurants, hotels and services like garages, beauty parlors and barber shops throughout North America where black travelers knew they would be welcome and safe.
That included New York City, home to Green Book author Victor Hugo Green (1892-1960), the African American postal employee, and later travel agency owner, who created the guide. Indeed, the first edition, priced at 25 cents, focused on the New York area, where Green lived. Read more