1940 edition 2

The Green Book (The Negro Motorist Green Book) was a guide for Black travelers across the U.S. and later other parts of North America listing hotels and other businesses that were known to be safe for Blacks. It was created and published beginning in 1936 by New York postman Victor Hugo Green. Green died in 1960, and his wife Alma Green took over publication. Publication ceased after the 1966-1967 edition. 1

From the introduction of the 1948 book:

With the introduction of this travel guide in 1936, it has been our idea to give the Negro traveler information that will keep him from running into difficulties, embarrassments and to make his trips more enjoyable.

It will be a great day for us to suspend this publication for then we can go wherever we please, and without embarrassment. But until that time comes we shall continue to publish this information for your convenience each year. 2

They later published railroad and airline editions. The business listings were largely the same, but the articles focused more on those modes of travel.

In 1963, the Green Book started briefly listing laws against discrimination. California's summary was "Anti-jimcro law in recreation facilities. Violators are subject to civil suits for damages plus $250."

Below is a list of businesses in Oakland, compiled from the years available online; Oakland listings don't appear until the 1939 edition. 2 Not all the businesses appeared every year; the California Hotel, for example, didn't allow Blacks to stay there until an ownership change in 1953, and doesn't appear in the Green Book until the 1955 edition. The Green Book relied heavily on word of mouth to learn which businesses were safe, and so the listings change slowly over the years.

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  • Warren - 1252 - 7th St.
  • Carver - 1412 Market St.
  • Paradise - 1792 - 7th St.
  • Dunbar - 800 - 14th St.
  • Fifty-Fifth Motel - 2320 - 50th Ave.
  • Hill Crest Motel - 2400 MacArthur Blvd.

Tourist Homes

  • Mrs. A.C. Clark - 805 Linden St.
  • Mrs. H. Williams - 814 Linden St. / 3521 Grove St.

Service Stations

  • Summers' - 1258 - 7th St. / 1251 - 7th St.
  • McCabe - 5901 Adeline St.
  • Signal - 800 Center St.


  • Bufford's - 5901 Adeline St.


  • Rythm Buffet - 1794 - 7th St.

Beauty Parlors

  • Personality - 3613 San Pablo Ave.


  • The Villa - 1724 - 7th St. / 3016 Adeline St.


  • A.B. - 1754 - 7th St. / 918 Castro St.

Links and References

  1. The Negro Motorist Green Book on Wikipedia
  2. Green Book New York Public Library Digital Collections