According to the civil rights leader Julian Bond, recalling his parents’ use of the Green Book, “it was a guidebook that told you not where the best places were to eat, but where there was any place”. Bond comments:
You think about the things that most travelers take for granted, or most people today take for granted. If I go to New York City and want a hair cut, it’s pretty easy for me to find a place where that can happen, but it wasn’t easy then. White barbers would not cut black peoples’ hair. White beauty parlors would not take black women as customers — hotels and so on, down the line. You needed the Green Book to tell you where you can go without having doors slammed in your face.
I found it fascinating. I never knew it existed until she told me about her trip.
A.L. was a joy. We sat and talked for over an hour. And I don’t always spend my time ‘entertaining’ my guests as I am not required to. But I could talk to her for hours.
Last Saturday night, A.L. stayed with me in my AirBnB. She was doing a road trip following this book.
The Negro’s AAA map is what she called it. It really brings home the discrimination against black people.
She let me look through it for MN, WI, and IA to see what I may recognize for towns. I was amazed how FEW places they could safely stay. So few.
When she left, she asked that I sit in front of my house so she could take a photo. She would be putting sketches in the book she is compiling about her trip.
She sent me this. I like…..