New Hanover County NAACP discusses ‘Green Book’

The Green Book is a major topic of discussion at a New Hanover County NAACP Meeting. (Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Whether you’ve seen it or not, you’ve probably heard of the movie ‘Green Book’, but do you know where the movie gets its name?

The real-life Green Book was a main topic of discussion at a New Hanover County NAACP meeting Thursday night.

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‘The Negro Motorist Green Book’, known to many as simply the Green Book, was an annual travel guide published by African-American New York City mailman Victor Hugo Green from 1936 to 1966, during the era of Jim Crow laws.

The guide listed hotels, restaurants, and other places friendly to African-Americans across the country, including in Wilmington.

“We’ve thus far have identified 50, approximately 50 for the city of Wilmington,” said research historian Lisa Withers. “But that number comes from what’s available through the New York Public Library digitized collection for the entire 30 years that the Green Book was published. So if you look in any particular edition, you may find five or six here, five or six there.”

Withers is working on a statewide project to find these safe places and preserve their stories in an online database.

It is expected to launch in March 2020.