The North Carolina African American Heritage Commission (AAHC), a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR), has created a new traveling exhibit, “Navigating Jim Crow: The Green Book and Oasis Spaces in North Carolina.” The exhibit highlights important sites and personal memories about American travel during the “Jim Crow” era of legal segregation. The Negro Motorist Green Book, published between 1936 and 1966, was both a guide and a tool of resistance designed to confront the realities of racial discrimination in the United States and beyond. The book listed over 300 North Carolina businesses—from restaurants and hotels, to tourist homes, nightclubs and beauty salons—in the three decades that it was published. The exhibit highlights a complex statewide network of business owners and Green Book sites that allowed African American com-munities to thrive, and that created “oasis spaces” for a varie-ty of African American travelers. The exhibit will be on display at the Museum of the Cape Fear from June 12 to July 9, 2021.
Eight vibrant panels form the traveling exhibit, showcasing images of business owners, travelers, and historic and present-day images of North Carolina Green Book sites. The words of African American travelers and descendants of Green Book site owners are featured prominently in the exhibit. Each of these stories are from oral histories collected by the AAHC in 2018 and 2019.
The travelling exhibit will be touring the state’s African American cultural centers, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, history museums, historic sites and libraries. For more tour dates, visit https://aahc.nc.gov/green-book-project.
This exhibit was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services MH-00-17-0027-17.