The definitive Black Business Directory
Click here to see For(bes) The Culture’s GreenBook Guide
During the 1930s, when anti-Black discrimination was the rule of law, Black travelers were often in clear and present danger. Under Jim Crow laws, widespread racial discrimination and subjugation made it difficult for Black Americans to purchase luxury items now considered common, such as cars. Those who were able to afford automobiles and travel, faced unflinching racism by the police, civilians, motel owners, and restaurateurs.The Black dollar was accepted in very few places, and the places Black people were allowed, weren’t always easy to locate.
Black-owned businesses were hit the hardest, with 41% of all Black-owned businesses closing…
To help address this, Victor Hugo Green, a mailman based in New York City, published the first Negro Motorist Travelers Guide in 1936. Over time, it was given the nickname Green Book, as it became more known. Its purpose was to provide Black travelers a handbook for safe passage. It came as the 1930s saw a rise in Black roadtrippers. The Green Book included hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and other places that accepted the Black dollar. Many of these businesses were not Black-owned but were places where Black customers were welcomed.
The historical guide may have been launched out of a need for safety, but it soon also came to represent trust and familiarity.
This is the inspiration behind For(bes) the Culture’s Green Book Guide, a growing database of Black and Brown businesses.
While Victor Green’s guide was born of the need to provide safety and protection for Black travelers, For(bes) the Culture’s Green Book Guide is born of the need to support and protect Black-owned businesses. In 2020, while all small to mid-sized businesses were hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, Black-owned businesses were hit the hardest, with 41% of all Black-owned businesses closing.
In 2021, many Black business owners still struggle to find their footing and achieve the financial success commensurate with their cultural counterparts, largely due to lack of access to the resources necessary for sustainability.
We hope this growing guide (which is just in its naissance, will continue to grow, and is not meant to be seen as an exhaustive list) serves as a way to bring visibility to Black businesses to help them not only survive but thrive. This is just the beginning.
To register your Black owned business with The Greenbook Guide, click here to submit.