Derek H Alderman* - University of Tennessee
Joshua Inwood - University of Tennessee
Richard Kennedy - East Carolina University
Geographers have devoted limited attention to the highly discriminatory and segregated history of US tourism. The processes involved in creating and maintaining racial separation and inequality are complicated, and for the most part, geographers have focused on the dialectical interplay between the production of space and the creation of a racialized identity. No less important, however, is the racialization of movement, the historical and contemporary production of black immobility, and the ways in which African Americans have sought to fashion counter-mobilities that contest white supremacy. To begin understanding the politics of mobility that have shaped the historical geography of U.S. tourism and the larger distribution of rights within the country, we discuss The Negro Travelers' Green Book, which was published from 1936 to 1964. The Green Book was a travel guide used by middle class African American motorists to locate, by state and city, travel accommodations without having to face the humiliation of racial discrimination during the Jim Crow era. While the Green Book obviously provides insight into how African American mobilities were constrained in unjust ways, it also speaks to the extent to which that these mobilities could be reconstructed in creative and resistant ways. Our paper provides a detailed introduction to the Green Book—including a brief history of the Book's origins and development—and our ongoing efforts to use the Book as a springboard for unlocking Jim Crow journey stories and exploring how the legacies of this racialized travel continue to shape the mobilities of African Americans.