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
The Negro Motorist Green-Book, 1940
This guide, published from 1936 to 1963, listed roadside accommodations that served African Americans.