Lansing Area African American
Genealogical Society

Volume 6, Issue 1
Spring 2019 Newsletter
Traveling for people of color was a daunting
task in the early to mid 1900s. Finding a place
to stay for night, where to eat was made
easier by a book titled
The Negro Motorist
Green Book
or sometimes referred to as The
Green Book
. The author of The Green Book
(Victor H. Green) made the traveling
experience much more hospitable when his
first book came out in 1936. The book listed
places throughout the U.S., Canada, and
Mexico people of color could stay for the night
and eat safely. Most of the business
establishments listed in the books were owned
and operated by people of color.

Major League baseball scouts took advantage
of these black owned establishments as well.
The scouts were hoping to find Negro League
baseball players for the major leagues.   

The city of Lansing, Michigan was not much
different then most communities for people of
color. In Green's book in 1949 as an example
lodging was made easier by five business
owners who opened up their establishments to
people of color.   
Mrs. Modella M. Gray at 1216 St Joseph

Mrs. Busher at 1212 St Joseph Street.

Mrs. Callie F. Lewis at 816 Butler Street.

Mrs. Cook at 1220 St Joseph Street.

Mrs. Katie Gains at 1406 Albert Street.

All five of the businesses/homes were located
on Lansing's Westside.

The Green Book faded away in 1964 when
large chain hotels opened their businesses to
people of color.

Article originally submitted by

Jesse Lasorda                   
Traveling in the U.S. from 1936-1964 for
People of Color
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