Abstract: “The Negro Motorist Green Book: an International Travel Guide”: Following in the 21st Century the Travel Guide of the Jim Crow Years

The Negro Motorist Green Book: an International Travel Guide was a travel guide for the average black American family during the mid-20th century. Created by postal worker, Victor H. Green, this book soon known only as the “Green Book” was published in response to the many accounts of humiliation, discrimination, and violence that black families faced while driving through the United States. For 18 years, the “Green Book” acted as a modern-day Underground Railroad. However, after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the “Green Book” soon faded away, even from the pages of history. This summer, I will be traveling to significant places listed in the “Green Book” and speaking to persons who either used or remembered this book. Through my collection of oral history and research, I plan to construct a cultural study of black motorists during the mid-1900s. The “Green Book” will act as an innovative lens for further research into the Civil Rights Movement and the Jim Crow Laws. My research will result in a multi-media website including biographies, interviews, pictures, and blog entries about this research and hopefully bring to light a significant artifact of the Civil Rights Movement that has been generally overlooked in the past.


  1. Alfreda James says:

    Dear Meagen:

    Are you still working on this project, the Negro Motorist? I graduated from W and M in ’81 and am thrilled to learn about your project and the format you intend to use for displaying your work.

  2. Ben Stango says:


    I am working with a friend on a similar project this summer. I would love to talk with you about your research. You can reach me at benstango@gmail.com



  3. Meagen Monahan says:

    Hi Alfreda and Ben,
    I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply! Alfreda, yes I am still working on the project through the summer and hopefully extending it into a semester of independent study with the American Studies department. Thank you for your post! Ben, I just sent you an email so hopefully we can exchange research!
    Thanks again!