(The Root) -- In 1936 a Harlem postal worker and activist named Victor H. Green decided to develop a guide that would help African Americans travel throughout the country in a safe and comfortable manner. The Negro Motorist Green Book (also calledThe Negro Travelers' Green Book), often simply known as The Green Book, identified places that welcomed black people during an era when Jim Crow laws and de facto segregation made it difficult for them to travel domestically without fear of racial backlash.
The Green Book listed businesses and places of interest such as nightclubs, beauty salons, barbershops, gas stations and garages that catered to black road-trippers. For almost three decades, travelers could request (for just 10 cents' postage) and receive a guide from Green. Eventually the guide expanded to encompass information about Canada and Mexico