February is Black History Month

Victor_Hugo_Green_(1892-1960)_in_1956 (1)

Victor Hugo Green (November 9, 1892 – 1960) was an African American postal employee from Harlem, New York best known for developing and writing what became known as The Green Book, a travels guide for African Americans in the United States.

In the 1930s, Green began his work by compiling data on stores and motels and gas stations in the New York City area that welcomed black travelers and published his first guide in 1936.  It was first published as The Negro Motorist Green Book and later as The Negro Travelers’ Green Book. The books were published from 1936 to 1966.

Victor Hugo Green reviewed hotels and restaurants that did business with African Americans during the time of Jim Crow Laws and racial segregation in the United States.  During the time the book was published, choices of lodging, restaurants and even gas stations were limited for black people in many places, both in the South and outside it. Green’s guide was so popular that he immediately began to expand its coverage the next year to other US destinations, adding hotel and restaurants as well.

After retiring from the Postal Service, Green continued to work on updating issues of The Green Book. In addition, he developed the related travel agency business he had established in 1947.

 

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