HIGH POINT — The High Point Museum is shining a spotlight on “The Negro Motorist Green Book” and its significance in Guilford County and North Carolina.
The museum is displaying a traveling exhibit, “Navigating Jim Crow: The Green Book and Oasis Spaces in North Carolina,” and next week the High Point Historical Society will host a webinar focusing on two of the county’s “Green Book” sites: Magnolia House in Greensboro and the old Kilby Hotel in High Point, said Sara Blanchett, curator of education at the museum.
“The exhibit provides an overview of what the ‘Green Book’ was, how it was used, and how it was a means of safety for traveling through the United States during Jim Crow,” Blanchett said. “With Jim Crow so prevalent, this pocket guide was really a safety net for Black travelers.”
The segregation-era book, which was published from 1936 to 1966, listed Black-owned and/or Black-friendly businesses — such as lodging, restaurants and gas stations — that travelers could look for when passing through a particular town or city. It listed more than 300 North Carolina businesses, also referred to as “oasis spaces,” during the three decades it was published.
The traveling exhibit, which was developed by the N.C. African-American Heritage Commission, features eight standing panels that trace the history of the “Green Book” and the significance it held for Black travelers. Photographs and the words of Black travelers and descendants of “Green Book” site owners are prominently displayed on the panels.
The free exhibit also includes eight reproductions of “Green Book” guides for visitors to explore, as well education packets and children’s activity packets that visitors can take home with them.
Next week’s webinar, which is being presented as part of the historical society’s monthly educational webinar program series, will focus on two Guilford County sites listed in the “Green Book.” Blanchett will discuss the old Kilby Hotel, which no longer stands, and Melissa Knapp, site manager and curator of Magnolia House in Greensboro, will talk about that site.
The webinar is free, but registration is required.
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