Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Something I Never Much Thought About: Route 66 and the Black Experience

I Came Across this interesting bit of information on the Route 66 News from today. "Where Are the Surviving Green Book Businesses?" A National Park Service Historian is searching for surviving buildings that once were listed in the "Negro Motorist Green Book" directories that were issued from 1936-1964 during the Jim Crow era. It was published by Victor Green. //// Indeed, traveling any American road was a different experience for blacks as there were many places throughout the country, and especially in the South, which would not do business with them. //// The places listed were motels, hotels, restaurants, gas stations, stores, beauty shops, barber shops and such who catered to blacks. //// The article had a complete 1949 guide (which takes much downloading, unfortunately). Of interest to 66 Roadies are the ones located in major cities of Chicago, St. Louis and Los Angeles. There were black places in seven of the eight Route 66 states (evidently none in the 13-mile Kansas stretch). //// It is hard to imagine a time like that in these days. //// --RoadDog

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