Coming to Tryon Palace on March 8, 2021
The North Carolina African American Heritage Commission (AAHC), a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR), has created a new traveling exhibit about sites important to, and personal memories about, American travel during the “Jim Crow” era of legal segregation. The Negro Motorist Green Book, published between 1936 and 1966, was both a guide and a tool of resistance designed to confront the realities of racial discrimination in the United States and beyond. The book listed over 300 North Carolina businesses—from restaurants and hotels, to tourist homes, nightclubs and beauty salons—in the three decades that was published. The exhibit highlights a complex statewide network of business owners and Green Book sites that allowed African American communities to thrive, and that created “oasis spaces” for a variety of African American travelers.
Tryon Palace and the North Carolina History Center are honored to be one of the chosen sites for presenting the traveling exhibit, “Navigating Jim Crow: The Green Book and Oasis Spaces in North Carolina.” This special exhibit will be on display at the North Carolina History Center, 529 S. Front Street, New Bern, from March 8, to May 2, 2021.
Eight vibrant panels form the traveling exhibit, showcasing images of business owners, travelers, and historic and present-day images of North Carolina Green Book sites. The words of African American travelers and descendants of Green Book site owners are featured prominently in the exhibit. Each of these stories are from oral histories collected by the AAHC in 2018 and 2019.
The exhibit will be featured in the North Carolina History Center’s Mattocks Hall. This exhibit is available to the public for free and can be enjoyed during normal business hours of Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 12 Noon to 5 p.m. To view other exhibits at the North Carolina History Center and tour Tryon Palace will require purchase of a ticket for entry. Tours of the Governor’s Palace are available daily with ticket and reservation of tour time. For more information; www.tryonpalace.org.
An identical version of the exhibit will tour the state’s African American cultural centers, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, history museums, historic sites and libraries. For more tour dates, visit aahc.nc.gov/green-book-project, or for additional information about the exhibit, please call (919) 814-6516.
This exhibit was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services MH-00-17-0027-17.
By Nancy Figiel, Tryon Palace