Winter 2019 Article

Advocating for Freedom
In his article for this issue of New York Archives Magazine, David Layne explores how The Negro Motorist Green-Book “helped African Americans achieve greater freedom on the road pursuing leisure activities or economic opportunities” during the era of Jim Crow.  The restrictions put in place during this time period made travel extremely dangerous for African Americans. Victor Hugo Green and George Smith made travel safer and more appealing  until legalized discrimination ended with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Click on the image above to access the Safe Travels article. 

Document Analysis

Document Analysis

Image Courtesy of New York Public Library

New York Archives Magazine Logo

Compelling Question: How did individuals create opportunities for African Americans during an era of legalized discrimination?

Setting the Stage

Show this video from pbslearningmedia.org and discuss the Robinsons’ experience with discrimination.
https://ny.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/jackierobinson-clip-honeymoon/ken-burns-jackie-robinson-clip-honeymoon/

Guided Reading Questions

1. Why was The Negro Motorist Green-Book created? 

2. What did The Green-Book do for African Americans?

3. What were African Americans able to avoid when they used The Green-Book? 

4. What was included in The Green-Book?

5. How was the guide arranged? 

6. Where was The Green-Book most valuable? 

7. How were the business listings developed? 



Document Analysis Questions

1. What do all of these advertisements have in common? 

2. Why would it be important to list these services in this book? 

3. Why might these businesses want to advertise in this book? 



This resource includes supporting questions to guide students in the reading of the article and analysis questions for understanding the primary sources. All educational materials are aligned to the New York State Social Studies Framework. The learning objectives are taken directly from the Social Studies Practices and the content fits within the framework.