Catawba County News

Green Book Exhibit Shares North Carolina Stories

Green Book Exhibit Shares North Carolina Stories

Published: January 25, 2023

Libraries are made up of stories. We line our shelves with stories. We host storytimes. We share stories with each other. 

We build community around our stories. 

It is a real treat and honor when we get to share stories on a larger scale, stories that have been shared across the state because of their historical and cultural significance. For the month of February, the library will be hosting a traveling exhibit that does just that. 

“Oasis Spaces: North Carolina Green Book Project, 1933-1966” has been traveling to libraries and museums across North Carolina sharing stories of resilience and survival during the Jim Crow era. The traveling exhibit highlights a travel guide and tool of resistance designed to confront the realities of racial discrimination in the United States known as The Negro Motorist Green Book. Several iterations of the Green Book are on display along with the exhibit to see for yourself. 

While Oasis Spaces and travel using the Green Book existed across the country, this exhibit focuses on the stories and places of North Carolina. Eight vibrant panels share images of business owners, travelers, personal memories, and historic and present-day images of North Carolina Green Book sites. There were over 300 listed businesses in North Carolina, including all the normal spots we would go today like restaurants, beauty shops, hotels, and gas stations. This is not only the story of survival but also a story of resilience and resistance. The panels share the story of civil rights, protests, and activism. 

The exhibit is on loan from The North Carolina African American Heritage Commission (AAHC), a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) and will be on display at the Main Library in Newton through February 28. The exhibit is available to the public for free and can be enjoyed during normal business hours of Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 8 pm, and Friday through Saturday, 9 am to 6 pm.

The library will also host special programs throughout the month to highlight different stories and experiences from the exhibit.

For children:
Map Challenge Inspired by the Green Book

Thursday, February 9 at 4:30 pm
Main Library in Newton

Using only paper maps, plan a course from one destination to another while avoiding obstacles.

For teenagers and adults:
Green Book VR Experience

Saturday, February 11 from 2 - 5 pm
Main Library in Newton

Experience a virtual reality short video to learn more about the Green Book and travel during the Jim Crow era throughout the South. To register, please visit the library or call 828-465-8665. 

Green Book VR Experience
Thursday, February 16 from noon - 6 pm
St. Stephens Branch Library

Experience a virtual reality short video to learn more about the Green Book and travel during the Jim Crow era throughout the South. To register, please visit the library or call 828-466-6821. 

Green Book Screening & Discussion
Saturday, February 18 at 2 pm
Main Library at Newton

Join us for a screening and discussion of the Oscar award-winning film Green Book, starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. Refreshments provided. Rated PG-13