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America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Transportation in America before 1876 Community Dreams: Santa Cruz, California, 1876 Delivering the Goods: Watsonville, California, 1895 A Streetcar City: Washington, D.C., 1900 The People's Highway: Route 66, 1930s-1940s Lives on the Railroad: Salisbury, North Carolina, 1927 Americans Adopt the Auto Crossing the Country: Somewhere in Wyoming, 1903 The Connected City: New York, New York, 1920s People on the Move Family Camping: York Beach, Maine, 1930s On the School Bus: Martinsburg, Indiana, 1939 Suburban Strip: Sandy Boulevard, Portland, Oregon, 1949 City and Suburb: Chicago and Park Forest, Illinois, 1950s On the Interstate: I-10, 1956-1990 Transforming the Waterfront: San Francisco and Oakland, California, 1960-1970 Going Global: Los Angeles Introduction Ring's Rest Jim Crow on the Road
11: Roadside Communities: Ring's Rest, Muirkirk, Maryland, 1930s

“Jim Crow” on the Road

Roads were open to all motorists, but the facilities that lined them were not. Some African Americans owned automobiles by the early 1920s, but the discriminatory practices of hotels, tourist cabins, and other lodgings made highway travel difficult. Some African Americans opened roadside accommodations, but not all communities had such conveniences. Black motorists either sought black-owned establishments or stayed with friends or relatives. At times they were forced to spend uneasy nights parked at service stations or beside highways when commercial hospitality was nowhere to be found.

Tourist cabins for blacks on U.S. 1, near Waterloo,Maryland, 1940
Tourist cabins for blacks on U.S. 1, near Waterloo,
Maryland, 1940
The Negro Motorist Green-Book, 1940
The Negro Motorist Green-Book, 1940
This guide, published from 1936 to 1963, listed roadside accommodations that served African Americans.
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