Modern version of historical “The Green Book” to launch in The Upstate

SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) – Do you know the history of “The Green Book?”

Back in the 1960’s, during the segregation era, the book was a guide to establishments where African Americans would be accepted as customers. It was originally called, “The Negro Motorist Green Book.”

A new version with a modern twist is launching in Spartanburg following the publication a few weeks ago.

It’s called “The Green Book of South Carolina.”

Inside are over 180, popular sites and hidden gems. About 40 are in The Upstate–19 of which are in Spartanburg. The book comes from a collaboration between The We Goja Foundation, The International African American Museum, and The Hub City Press. The launch had some help from The City of Spartanburg as well.

Director Meg Reid can’t wait for readers to dig into the book.

“There are a lot of amazing things in this book. I think everybody can find something that they didn’t know about,” Reid said.

Brenda Lee Pryce is the chair of the education committee on the Spartanburg African American Heritage & Culture Committee.

“They get to learn a segment the community may not be familiar with or the history–the rich history that’s a part of this community,” Pryce said.

Reid says they received tons of help to make this happen.

“It was a lot of work for them, over 20 years of assembling all of that information,” said Reid, “And a lot of the work–us bringing it together in the last year.”

What really binds the book together are the images. Reid praises the eye behind them.

“We just put it into a book format, but we were really fortunate to have Joshua Parks, the photographer, who took the stunning photos,” said Reid.

Cultural sites across the state are highlighted. For example, the book features Seashore Farmer’s Lodge, which was once a place where the formally enslaved would farm and fish. It’s now a community hub and museum. And Epiphany Church, in Spartanburg; the oldest, Black, church building in the city.

Pryce has a favorite of her own.

“No doubt about it. It’s the Jubilee Flag,” said Pryce, “The story of the flag is very touching.”

The Emancipation Jubilee Flag was once carried by Spartanburg’s newly-freed, Black organizers as they marched alongside federal soldiers, while defeated confederate soldiers watched. It has held together for 157 years, just as the soldiers once stood together. You can find it at the Spartanburg County Public Library Headquarters.

The official launch is Thursday, Jul. 28 at Fretwell, in Spartanburg, at 5 pm

You can buy the book at The Hub City Bookstore, in Spartanburg for around $17.

There is also a mobile, travel guide that showcases more than 300 attractions. You can visit here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.