TTraveling during the Jim Crow era carried with it additional hardships for African Americans. With numerous African American families moving from rural to urban locales to take on industrial jobs, the ability for many of those families to attain vehicles became a reality. That didn’t stop several cities and states from finding ways to discriminate against the African American traveler, though that was made illegal in the Civil Rights Act of 1875. These travelers had to work together to vacation and trek across the United States and frequently relied on the guidance of the “Negro Motorist Green Book” to find motels, gas stations, restaurants, and more.

Galveston Historical Foundation will welcome The Green Book Project back for a lecture on the Green Book and shoebox lunches on Saturday, June 15, 2019. Seating is limited and reservations include access to the lecture and a specially prepared shoebox lunch for dining during the discussion. The lunch and lecture will be held at Menard Hall, 3302 Avenue O, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person. The lunch is catered by Allens Kitchen and Grill and features greens, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, fried chicken, and cake.


Although the Green Book supplied places to eat during travel, there were still places in between that were not open to the Negro travelers. Several travelers would pack what is known as a “Shoebox Lunch” to guarantee they had a meal to eat. This was a basic shoebox packed full of foods that would not spoil during a long trip.


Founders of The Green Book Project, Reuben and Toya Levi have worked personally to talk about the experiences of African Americans traveling thru the US during the Jim Crow. This creative passion has kept up the momentum for their Idea Fund Grant Awarded project. The Green Book Project was started after the Levi family took a cross-country family trip in 2016. This trip served as a learning experience, bringing up important dialogue amongst friends and family about what it was like for African Americans to travel before the Civil Rights movement brought about desegregation. After they discovered The Green Book, they began to research the history of the publication and the locations the book featured as friendly to African American travelers. As Reuben and Toya retraced the footsteps of the past, they realized they wanted to share their findings with others and thus The Green Book Project was created.

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