Traveling Exhibit Arrives at the Museum of the Albemarle

The North Carolina African American Heritage Commission (AAHC), a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR), has created a new traveling exhibit about sites important to, and personal memories about, American travel during the “Jim Crow” era of legal segregation. The Negro Motorist Green Book, published between 1936 and 1966, was both a guide and a tool of resistance designed to confront the realities of racial discrimination in the United States and beyond. The book listed over 300 North Carolina businesses—from restaurants and hotels, to tourist homes, nightclubs and beauty salons—in the three decades that is was published. The exhibit highlights a complex statewide network of business owners and Green Book sites that allowed African American communities to thrive, and that created “oasis spaces” for a variety of African American travelers. The exhibit will be on display at the Museum of the Albemarle from  September 7, 2021 to October 27, 2021.

Eight vibrant panels form the traveling exhibit, 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.

In conjunction with the traveling exhibit, Dr. Melissa N. Stuckey, PhD, Elizabeth City State University, will present on Wednesday, October 20 at 12 p.m., Beyond the Green Book:  Recovering Elizabeth City’s Historic African American Businesses through Project-Based Learning.  Two regional businesses, both located in Elizabeth City that were listed in the Negro Motorist Green Book, will be discussed in the educational program.  Visitors will be welcomed in-person and virtually.

Educators and organized groups can schedule their students for a virtual tour. Students will explore the book Ruth and the Green Book by author Calvin Alexander Ramsey and illustrator Floyd Cooper. Students can travel along with Ruth and her parents as they drive south to visit family in the 1950s. Listen to this story and find out how they steer around people who are unfriendly to Black travelers and where they find friends along the way.

The traveling exhibit will tour the state’s African American cultural centers, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, history museums, historic sites and libraries. The next stop on the coast for the traveling exhibit is Somerset Place State Historic Site in Creswell, NC, in November. For tour dates, visit 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 or visit

Please visit the Museum of the Albemarle to view this and other exhibits Monday-Friday 10am-4pm and every Saturday of the month beginning September 11, 2021.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. The exhibit will close on October 27, 2021.