Real ‘Green Book’ locations found in Gulf Coast cities

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) – The Oscar winner for Best Picture, “Green Book,” tells the story of a black concert pianist touring through the Deep South, and is named after a 20th century guidebook for African-American travelers.

Although none of the movie’s scenes take place in Mississippi, if you were to thumb through an actual copy of “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” you would find a few locations in South Mississippi on the pages.

The green book was published between 1933 and 1966, and during its 33-year history, the travel guide became a kind of “Bible” for black travelers during Jim Crow, helping black people to find hotels, restaurants, beauty parlors and gas stations that would serve them.

Throughout the years, Waveland, Biloxi and Pascagoula businesses made appearances in the book, but a handful of tourist homes in Biloxi were routinely listed:

  • Mrs. A.J. Alcina Tourist Home, 443 Washington Street
  • Mrs. G Bess Tourist Home, 610 Main Street
  • Mrs. L. Scott Tourist Home, 421 Washington Street

Many of the places listed in the book no longer exist, or the names of the streets have changed.

Shortly after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, the green book’s publication stopped. Since race-based discrimination was no longer legal, people of any color could stay at whatever hotel, eat at any restaurant and shop in any business of the choosing.

You can find a digital collection of green books from the New York Public Library here.

Categories: State News

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