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The series is being shot and co-written by LPB’s Emma Reid and Kara St. Cyr, who also serves as our on-camera guide. St. Cyr learned a lot of Louisiana history working on the digital shorts and appreciates the perspective she gained about her own history, as well. “One of the most sobering aspects of this project is not that this happened at all, but that the existence of sundown towns is so recent. African Americans used The Green Book to navigate cities like Denham Springs while my parents were small children. This puts everything into perspective. I can appreciate my ancestors even more now that I understand the sacrifices they made just to live.”

The series is underwritten by ExxonMobil Baton Rouge. “There are so many Louisiana story-telling opportunities associated with the history of The Green Book,” says Stephanie Cargile, public and government affairs manager for ExxonMobil Baton Rouge. “ExxonMobil really wanted to focus on our state’s role and we knew LPB could help. It’s an important part in the history of race relations in our state.”

Discover other digital programs that explore Louisiana’s unique history, culture, and food with the LPB YouTube channel.

Safe Haven: Louisiana’s Green Book | Louisiana Public Broadcasting

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The Negro Motorist | Green Book | Smithsonian | ExxonMobil

From restaurants to places to sleep, The Green Book was more than just a travel guide for Black vacationers in mid-century America, it was a survival guide. From 1936 to 1967, the book featured businesses that were African-American friendly during the Jim Crow era. Now Louisianans can get an immersive look at what it was like for Black travelers during that time thanks to a fascinating Smithsonian traveling exhibit that brings the guide to life.

“The Negro Motorist Green Book,” an exhibition created by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in collaboration with Candacy Taylor, one of the nation’s leading Green Book scholars, and made possible through the generous support of ExxonMobil Corporation, highlights the history of “The Green Book,” an annual guide created in 1936 by Harlem postman Victor Green that helped African Americans travel the country with dignity by listing facilities that accepted Blacks during the era of Jim Crow laws and segregation.

“The Negro Motorist Green Book” was on view at the Capitol Park Museum in Baton Rouge through November 14, 2021.