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11 Recommended Reads Inspired by The Green Book

In 2018, the Museum presented Unpacking the Green Book: Travel and Segregation in Jim Crow America, an interactive project space for exploring the mid-twentieth century travel history of black Americans. Published by New York postal worker Victor Hugo Green from 1936 to 1967, The Negro Motorist Green Book, commonly known as The Green Book, was a travel guide that helped black road-trippers avoid the dangers, injustices, and racial violence of segregation during the Jim Crow era. This reading list is excerpted from a comprehensive compilation of recommended texts selected for the exhibition and now expanded by curator of collections Samantha De Tillio in response to the protests against police brutality and Black Lives Matter demonstrations. De Tillio writes “The circumstances that warrant sharing this reading list are horrific, but I hope in doing so we can help facilitate hard yet necessary conversations around the history of race relations and systems oppression in the United States.“

The exhibition’s original reading list was compiled with assistance from Candacy Taylor, writer, photographer, and cultural critic, and Maira Liriano, associate chief librarian at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. 

Jim Crow, Segregation and The Great Migration

Green, Victor H. The Negro Motorist Green-Book: 1940 Facsimile Edition. Camarillo, CA: About Comics 2016.

Haley, Sarah. No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2016

Ramsey, Calvin Alexander with Gwen Strauss. Ruth and the Green Book. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books, 2010. (for children)

Rothstein, Richard. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. New York: Liveright Publishing, 2017

Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of American’s Great Migration. New York: Vintage Books, 2011

Black American Leisure

Holland, Jearold Winston. Black Recreation, A Historical Perspective. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002.

Lauterbach, Preston. The Chitlin’ Circuit: And the Road to Rock ‘n’ Roll. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012.

Wolcott, Victoria W. Race, Riots, and Roller Coasters: The Struggle over Segregated Recreation in America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.

For Children

Coles, Robert. The Story of Ruby Bridges. New York: Scholastic, 201

Ramsey, Calvin Alexander with Gwen Strauss. Ruth and the Green Book. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books, 2010

Ringgold, Faith. Tar Beach. Decorah, IA: Dragonfly Books, 1996

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