The Black Travelers’ Guide to Jim Crow America

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Black History Quiz
The Black Travelers’ Guide to Jim Crow America
By Jim Stroud • Issue #101 • View online
Black History Quiz is a weekly celebration of the contributions and achievements of Africans and the descendants of the diaspora in the United States and around the world. PLEASE SHARE this newsletter and help spread the word about a proud people and their cultures. New issues post on Sundays at 7:30 am EST. | www.blackhistoryquiz.com

The Black Travelers’ Guide to Jim Crow America
First published in 1936, a comprehensive guide was published for Black travelers about locations across America—and eventually overseas—that were either Black-owned or didn’t engage in segregationist practices. The guide was printed for 30 years. It stopped publication in 1966, two years after the Civil Rights Act was passed.
This was how the authors of that guide ended the introduction to their 1948 edition:
“There will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published. That is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States. It will be a great day for us to suspend this publication for then we can go wherever we please, and without embarrassment.”
Can you guess the name of the guide? (Hint: A movie about the guide recently won a Golden Globe Award, an Oscar and several other industry accolades.)
One BIG Reason to Love Vermont
Vermont, which broke away from New York, abolished slavery outright in its constitution, dated July 8, 1777.
The relevant section is Chapter I, subtitled “A DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE STATE OF VERMONT”
I. THAT all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. Therefore, no male person, born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person, as a servant, slave or apprentice, after he arrives to the age of twenty-one Years, nor female, in like manner, after she arrives to the age of eighteen years, unless they are bound by their own consent, after they arrive to such age, or bound by law, for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like.
After declaring its independence, Vermont existed as a free republic known as the Commonwealth of Vermont. It was admitted to the union in 1791, with a state constitution that also contained the slavery ban. The 1777 constitution entitles Vermont to claim to be the first U.S. state to have abolished slavery.
Did that mean that blacks in Vermont were treated as equals? Umm… It was complicated. Still, they were better off than their brethren in the South, for sure.
For further study:
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BHQ ANSWER
The “Green Book” listed establishments in segregationist strongholds such as Alabama and Mississippi, but its reach also extended from Connecticut to California—any place where its readers might face prejudice or danger because of their skin color. With Jim Crow still looming over much of the country, a motto on the guide’s cover also doubled as a warning: “Carry your Green Book with you—You may need it.” [Source]
For further study:
Green Book - Awards - IMDb
Traveling with "The Green Book" during the Jim Crow era
Traveling with "The Green Book" during the Jim Crow era
Did you enjoy this issue?
Jim Stroud

Black History Quiz is a weekly celebration of the contributions and achievements of Africans and the descendants of the diaspora in the United States and around the world. PLEASE SHARE this newsletter and help spread the word about a proud people and their cultures. New issues post on Sundays at 7:30 am EST. | www.blackhistoryquiz.com

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