Segregated America’s TripAdvisor

» 11 November 2014 » In History / DBQ's » No Comments

hotel clark

“Carry your GREEN BOOK with you – You may need it."

We’re accustomed to doing our own travel planning with TripAdvisor, Yelp and other web-based guides. But imagine you’re a Black family driving to a reunion across mid-20th century America. You faced humiliation, insults and fear of being stranded without travel essentials. Racist social codes made “driving while black” a hazard in some locales. Fortunately you could turn to the "bible of black travel during Jim Crow" - the “Negro Travelers’ Green Book.” 


The “Green Book” as it was commonly known, was created by Victor H. Green, an enterprising New York mailman and Black-American travel agent. First launched in 1936 as a New York-focused edition, Green eventually expanded coverage to all of North America and the Caribbean. The book was essential to American Black middle class families as well as salesmen, entertainers and athletes who traveled for business. Organized by state and city, it listed business who would accept black clientele - hotels, restaurants, filling stations, tailors, beauty parlors. It also included travel themed articles featured black-friendly resorts and sites. Green gathered information by offering his readers a dollar reward for supplying information "on the Negro motoring conditions, scenic wonders in your travels, places visited of interest and short stories on one's motoring experience.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 12.26.28 PM

While northeastern urban areas had many listings, some states were clearly not hospitable to the black traveler. The 1949 edition (pdf) had only a few listings in Portland for the entire state of Oregon.

As Green noted in the intro to the 1949 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 in the United States. It will be a great day for us to suspend the publication for then we can travel wherever we please, and without embarrassment. But until that time comes will shall continue to publish this information for your convenience each year.

With the exception of the WWII era, Green published the book until 1966. He ceased publication following the passage of the Civil Rights act of 1964.

Link to 1956 edition. Click image below to view interactive map of the 1956 listings.

Green book interactive map
Note: This video opens at the 1:02 mark, skipping over graphic images of lynchings.

Image credit: Library of Congress
Memphis, Tennessee. October 1939.
Marion Post Wolcott, photographer.
"Secondhand clothing stores and pawn shop on Beale Street."
[Sign: "Hotel Clark, The Best Service for Colored Only."]
Location: E-2185
Reproduction Number: LC-USF33-30637-M3

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Thinking Like A Historian: Student-Designed Lessons

» 02 October 2014 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, How To, Students » No Comments


Over the last few weeks my University of Portland EdMethods students have been designing lessons in historical thinking skills based on the work of Sam Wineburg and the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG). They focussed on three key skills – Sourcing, Contextualizing and Corroborating.

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Quantify Culture with NGram Viewer and NY Times Chronicle

» 30 September 2014 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, Students, Visualizations, Web 2.0 » No Comments


To demonstrate transformative web-based research tools, my EdMethods students spent time using Books NGram Viewer and NY Times Chronicle – to develop and test hypotheses. Here’s their results.

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Invaders Came from the North: French Attack on Upstate NY

» 17 September 2014 » In Commentary, History / DBQ's » 2 Comments


Over 300 years ago the French sent the largest army ever seen in North America to attack the Seneca Nation of the Genesee Valley of Upstate NY. The expeditionary force set in motion a series of events that would ultimately result in the French expulsion from North America.

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Get the Word Out: A Social Media Case Study

» 10 September 2014 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, Social Web, Strategies » No Comments


Here’s a brief case study in how use social media to showcase your work and create a professional learning network.

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Students at the Center of the Learning

» 08 September 2014 » In Commentary, Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, How To, Strategies, Students, Teachers » No Comments


I learned to be an instructional designer – an architect of learning environments. I designed lesson “spaces” where the thinking was being done by my students. By “flipping” a few instructional components and providing a student-driven evaluation, my students will be at the heart of the lesson. I’ll be floating at the periphery. Here’s how.

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How to Read Documentary Films

» 26 August 2014 » In History / DBQ's, How To, Strategies » 2 Comments


Lesson on using films as documents to develop historical thinking skills in sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating and close reading. The lesson compares two documentary films detailing the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. The first film was made in 1943 by the US government to justify the action. The second film was made in 2014 and features interviews with Japanese American incarcerees.

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How to Read Documentary Photographs

» 12 August 2014 » In History / DBQ's, How To, Strategies » No Comments


Lesson on using photographs as documents to develop historical thinking skills in sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating and close reading. Features material from “Uprooted” a museum exhibit and website that showcases the photography of Russell Lee, staff photographer for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and his work at the Japanese American farm labor camps of WWII.

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Free iBook: History of Portland’s Japantown

» 10 June 2014 » In History / DBQ's, Publishing » 4 Comments


I’m pleased to introduce my latest multitouch iBook “Portland’s Japantown Revealed.” Free at iTunes. It’s filled with over a hundred archival photographs and dozens of video interviews with former Japantown residents that detail life from the 1890s through the incarcerations of WWII. It features two dozen interactive “Portland Revealed” widgets that allow the reader to blend historic and contemporary photographs.

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Learning to Think Like a Historian

» 03 June 2014 » In Commentary, History / DBQ's, Strategies, Students, Teachers » No Comments


I’m joined by other educators who comment on “Teaching History By Encouraging Curiosity.” Ideas on how to create a more engaging history classroom that teaches students the foundations of historical thinking. With links to more resources and a podcast.

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