Traveling with the Green Book

You may have seen the film of the same name, but do you know the real-life history of the Green Book as a travel guide and safe conduct handbook for African Americans during the 20th century?

We’re in awe of the important work that the Green Book of South Carolina is doing to highlight and celebrate African American history in South Carolina. Shining a light on stories that have been ignored for too long is close to our heart, as storytellers and as explorers. We recently came across this copy of a Green Book at the University of North Carolina’s Wilson Library exhibit, “On the Move: Stories of African American Migration and Mobility.” The exhibit showcased “modes of transportation and their intersection with the lives of African Americans: the ships of the trans-Atlantic slave trade; movement on foot, as exemplified by those fleeing slavery; the trains that enabled the Great Migration that brought many black Americans from the rural South to urban areas in the North and Midwest; buses…during the civil rights era; cars and the intertwined promise and dangers of personal mobility; and airplanes as a symbol of military experience.”

An important reminder of how freeing, literally, the ability to travel can be!