During the Jim Crow Era, it was rare for African Americans to have the means to travel or to have equal rights. White supremacists feared and sought to restrict black mobility. Although this was their fear, several African American families were moving from the farm to the big cities to take on industrial jobs creating a financial gain that helped them attain vehicles. Several cities and states would still find a way to discriminate against the Negro traveler although it was made illegal in the Civil Rights Act of 1875. Blacks had to work together to travel and vacation across the US with the help of the historic “Negro Motorist Green Book”, a collection of motels, gas stations, restaurants, and more.
The Green Book Project is a web documentary that included photo essays, and interviews across the United States about African American experience via their mode of transportation.
Join Galveston Historical Foundation’s African American Heritage Committee on Saturday, June 2, 2018, for a public lecture on The Green Book, presented by Reuben and Toya Levi, at 2 p.m. in Menard Hall, 3302 Avenue Q. Admission is free with RSVP.
ABOUT THE PRESENTERS
With homegrown roots in the south, Reuben and Toya Levi have a combined background in the arts, marketing, and creative direction. Founders of The Green Book Project, Reuben and Toya have worked personally to talk about the experiences of African Americans traveling thru the US during the Jim Crow era via a web documentary. 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. With racial tension in America at an all-time high, Reuben and Toya decided to use the trip 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 web documentary was created.