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The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA) has received a $75,000 grant from the National Park Service’s Underrepresented Communities Grant Program to recognize Green Book sites in Indiana.

“The Negro Motorist Green-Book” (aka The Negro Travelers’ Green Book or Green Book) was a guidebook for African American travelers published from the 1930s through the 1960s. Victor Hugo Green, an African American New York City postal worker; his wife, Alma Green; and a small staff managed the subscription service. The Green Book included information about businesses and services open to African American patrons, initially in Harlem, then nationally and internationally. At a time when African Americans faced ongoing discrimination, the Green Book provided information that was essential for safer travel.

Nearly 200 businesses in Indiana were listed during the years of publication: tourist homes, motels, hotels, resorts, taverns, restaurants, night clubs, liquor stores, gas stations, autobody shops, dry cleaners, drug stores, tailors, beauty parlors, and barbers. Green Book sites were listed in 20 Indiana cities: Fort Wayne, Jeffersonville, Muncie, Elkhart, New Albany, Marion, Kokomo, Franklin, Vincennes, Gary, Michigan City, Anderson, Indianapolis, French Lick, West Baden Springs, Chesterton, Furnessville, South Bend, Angola, Lafayette, Evansville, and Terre Haute. Fewer than 20% of Green Book sites in Indiana remain standing.

The grant funding will support efforts to research and document remaining Green Book sites throughout Indiana. The project will assist in creating the following products:

  • Survey of remaining Green Book resources,
  • Multiple Property Documentation Forms (research documents) for “The Negro Motorist Green-Book” in Indiana
  • Two National Register of Historic Places nominations for Green Book sites, and
  • A publicly accessible story map highlighting Green Book sites in Indiana.

For more information about the Underrepresented Communities program, please visit go.nps.gov/urc.

To learn more about the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, visit on.IN.gov/dhpa.

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