NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. – Cape Fear Museum of History and Science is opening a new traveling panel display about African Americans’ travel experience during the era of legal racial segregation. “Navigating Jim Crow: The Green Book and Oasis Spaces in North Carolina” was created by The North Carolina African American Heritage Commission (AAHC), a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR). The exhibit explores sites from The Negro Motorist Green Book, published between 1936 and 1966. This travel guide listed over 300 North Carolina businesses—from restaurants and hotels to tourist homes, nightclubs, and beauty salons—in the three decades that it was published. More than 50 of the sites were in Wilmington.
The exhibit highlights a complex statewide network of business owners and sites that allowed African American communities to thrive, and that created “oasis spaces” for a variety of African American travelers. Eight vibrant panels form the traveling display, showcasing images of business owners, travelers, and historic and present-day images of North Carolina Green Book sites. The words of African American travelers and descendants of Green Book site owners are featured prominently in the exhibit. Each of these stories are from oral histories collected by the AAHC in 2018 and 2019.
The panels will be on display at Cape Fear Museum from July 2 through August 29, 2021.
Two identical versions of this panel display are currently touring the state’s African American cultural centers, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, history museums, historic sites and libraries. For more tour dates, visit https://aahc.nc.gov/green-book-project.
This exhibit was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services MH-00-17-0027-17.
For additional information about the exhibit, please call (919) 814-6516.
About the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission
The North Carolina General Assembly created the African American Heritage Commission (AAHC) in 2008 to “assist the Secretary of Cultural Resources in the preservation, interpretation, and promotion of African American history, arts, and culture.” With this legislation the AAHC has identified African American heritage practitioners, such as curators, docents, and museum directors, as priority service populations. The AAHC was recognized as a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources in 2017, after being housed in the Office of Archives and History and the North Carolina Arts Council. The commission works across the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to achieve the mission of preserving, protecting, and promoting North Carolina’s African American history, art, and culture, for all people. For more information about the Commission, please visit https://aahc.nc.gov/.
About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.
NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.
News Release Contact: Jan Davidson, firstname.lastname@example.org