The Green Book – A Visual Journey / by Jonathan Calm


The image of the open road and the idea of free travel across a boundless land of opportunity lies at the core of the American spirit. The struggle for civil rights has historically revolved around overcoming limitations of mobility based on racial prejudice. Major activist efforts like the 1962 Freedom Rides, or their little-known 1947 predecessor, the Journey of Reconciliation, carried the powerful symbolism of mixed-race groups of passengers who sat together on bus rides through the South to protest segregation. The Green Book guides, published between 1936 and 1967, were about different, far less chronicled right of African-American mobility: the right of upwardly mobile black citizens to travel with a sense of dignity as well as security with the knowledge of welcoming accommodations and services had been mapped out for them.

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