The North Carolina African American Heritage Commission (AAHC), a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR), has created a new traveling exhibit about sites important to, and personal memories about, American travel during the “Jim Crow” era of legal segregation. The Negro Motorist Green Book, published between 1936 and 1966, was both a guide and a tool of resistance designed to confront the realities of racial discrimination in the United States and beyond. The book listed over 300 North Carolina businesses—from restaurants and hotels, to tourist homes, nightclubs and beauty salons—in the three decades that it was published. The exhibit highlights a complex statewide network of business owners and Green Book sites that allowed African American communities to thrive, and that created “oasis spaces” for a variety of African American travelers.
The exhibit will be on display at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer from Sept. 25, 2020 through Mar. 14, 2021.
Eight vibrant panels form the traveling exhibit, showcasing images of business owners, travelers, and historic and present-day images of North Carolina Green Book sites. The words of African American travelers and descendants of Green Book site owners are featured prominently in the exhibit. Each of these stories are from oral histories collected by the AAHC in 2018 and 2019.
The exhibit will be displayed in the museum’s Bumper to Bumper exhibit, where it will be surrounded by period vehicles and back drops of the time period, creating an immersive visitor experience.
There is no extra fee to see this exhibit. It is available with the museum’s regular admission price of $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and military, and $4 for children 3-12. Ages 2 and under are free.
This exhibit was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services MH-00-17-0027-17.
For additional information about the exhibit, please call (919) 814-6516.