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“Utah in the Green Book: Segregation and the Hospitality Industry in the Beehive State”


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Green Book cover
Cover of the 1961 Green Book. Courtesy New York Public Library

Christine Cooper-Rompato’s essay, “Utah in the Green Book: Segregation and the Hospitality Industry in the Beehive State,” was published in the most recent issue of the Utah Historical Quarterly. As the recent Academy Award film Green Book shows, the Green Book was a tour guide designed to list safe places for African Americans to eat, spend the night, and find other amenities when travelling across the United States, at a time when many establishments throughout the nation excluded non-whites.  Though the Green Book itself portrayed African Americans as confident, mobile, American consumers, a number of states, including Utah, lagged behind in listing business that welcomed African Americans.  In this article, Dr. Cooper-Rompato explores the history of the hotels that welcomed African Americans in Utah, showing how both hotel proprietors and guests often endured violence, searches and arrests by local police, and economic hardship.  Yet these hotels also provided opportunities for economic advancement for African American women and sites for political and social gatherings.  The complete article is available by clicking here.  (pp. 39-57)