Vacation travel is an essential aspect of self-care and well-being. Unfortunately, for many African Americans, vacation travel has been a luxury that has been historically denied due to systemic racism and inequality. The good news is that black Americans are increasingly breaking free from the past to explore the world around them.
Despite a history of discrimination and segregation, African American travel has steadily increased over the years. According to a report by Mandala Research, African American leisure travel spending increased by 5.5% in 2018, outpacing the 4.9% increase in overall leisure travel spending. Additionally, 63% of African American travelers reported that they prioritize travel as a form of self-care, compared to 49% of white travelers.
The impact of systemic racism on vacation travel cannot be ignored. For many years, African Americans were restricted from traveling to certain destinations, denied access to hotels, restaurants, and other accommodations. Even after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed racial discrimination in public accommodations, many establishments continued to discriminate against travelers.
Despite facing numerous obstacles, African American travelers persevered and continued to explore the world around them. The Negro Motorist Green Book, a travel guide published from 1936 to 1967, was a lifeline for black travelers during a time when many establishments denied them service. The book provided a roadmap of safe and welcoming places for black travelers, allowing them to travel with greater ease and confidence. The Green Book was more than just a guidebook; it was a powerful symbol of hope and a reassuring reminder to black travelers that they had a community and support network in their travels, helping them to overcome the challenges and dangers.
One traveler, Patricia Turner, recalls her family's experience with the Green Book during the 1950s. Traveling from New York to Florida, they relied on the Green Book to plan their stops along the way. They carefully followed the recommendations and never had any trouble finding a safe place to rest or eat. Without the Green Book, Patricia's family might have faced troubles. Instead, they were able to enjoy their vacation without fear. Today, the Green Book serves as a reminder of the resilience and determination of African American travelers and their contributions to travel history.
Today, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to travel and explore new destinations with ease. By supporting the preservation of the Negro Motorist Green Book, you can contribute to celebrating African American travel history and culture. We hope that our replica will inspire travelers to learn more about the past and work towards creating a more inclusive future for all.