Smithsonian’s Green Book exhibit opens in Jackson, detailing travel woes of Blacks in Jim Crow era

Published 1:53 pm Monday, July 4, 2022

A look at how African Americans traveled during the Jim Crow era in the U.S. is on display at the Two Mississippi Museums in downtown Jackson.

The Negro Motorist Green Book, a Smithsonian traveling exhibition, opened Saturday at the venue, which is part of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, a Smithsonian affiliate.

It includes artifacts from business signs and postcards to historic footage, images and firsthand accounts to convey not only the apprehension felt by Black travelers but also the resilience, innovation and elegance of people choosing to live a full American existence, officials said. Mississippi artifacts include items from the historic Riverside Hotel in Clarksdale and Hotel E.F. Young Jr. in Meridian.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Two Mississippi Museums director Pamela D.C. Junior said she was ecstatic to have the exhibit housed at the venue.

“During the Great Migration families moved across the U.S., thus the necessity to travel and visit relatives was born,” Junior said. “Postal worker Victor Green, innovatively responded to this need with a roadmap of havens to eat, rest, and visit. This safety net was a key guide for people of color throughout the Jim Crow south and other parts of America.”

Green’s guidebook was published from 1936 to 1966 and was “an indispensable resource” for the nation’s rising African American middle class, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History said in a news release.

The exhibition will run through Sunday, Sept. 25, in the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Exhibition Hall at the Two Mississippi Museums.

Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $8 for youth ages 4–22. Discounts are available for students, seniors, active duty military, veterans, and groups of ten or more. Admission for children under the age of three is free. Admission on Sunday is also free.