The Negro Motorist Green Book. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

United States – The Negro Motorist Green Book, Victor Hugo Green

Victor Hugo Green (November 9, 1892 – October 16, 1960) was a Black American postal employee and travel writer from Harlem, New York City, best known for developing and writing what became known as The Negro Motorist Green Book, a travel guide for African Americans in the United States.

During the time the book was published, choices of lodging, restaurants, and even gas stations were limited for Black people in many places, both in the South and elsewhere. It was first published as The Negro Motorist Green Book and later as The Negro Travelers’ Green Book. The books were published from 1936 to 1966. Green reviewed hotels and restaurants that did business with African Americans during the time of Jim Crow laws and racial segregation in the United States. He printed 15,000 copies each year.

After retiring from the Postal Service, Green continued to work on updating issues of The Green Book. In addition, he developed the related travel agency business he had established in 1947.

It should be noted that Alma Duke Green (1889-1978), whose life began in the Jim Crow American South, was the official editor (for only a few years) of the “Negro Traveler’s Green Book” (aka the Green Book). Widow of Victor Hugo Green, Alma played a significant role in the creation and evolution of the Green Book and appears to have actively supported and been involved in this venture from the beginning.