Lansing Area African American
Genealogical Society

Volume 5, Issue 2
Fall 2011-2012 Newsletter
Jesse LaSorda, LAAAGS Past
Traveling for people of color was a daunting
task in the early to mid 1900s. Finding a place
to stay for night, where to eat was made
easier by a book titled “The Negro
Motorist Green Book� or sometimes
referred to as “The Green Book�. The
authored of The Green Book (Victor H. Green)
made the traveling experience much more
hospitable when his first book came out in
1936. The book listed places throughout the U.
S., Canada, and Mexico people of color could
stay for the night and eat safely. Most of the
business establishment listed in the books
were owned and operated by people of color.

Major League baseball scouts took advantage
of these black owned establishments as well.
The scouts were in hopes to find Negro
League baseball players for the major

The city of Lansing, Michigan was not much
different then most communities for people of
color. In Green’s book in 1949 as an
example lodging was made easier by five
business owners who opened up their
establishments to people of color.   
Mrs. Modella M. Gray at 1216 St Joseph

Mrs. Busher at 1212 St Joseph Street.

Mrs. Callie F. Lewis at 816 Butler Street.

Mrs. Cook at 1220 St Joseph Street.

Mrs. Katie Gains at 1406 Albert Street.

All five of the businesses/homes were located
on Lansing’s Westside.

The Green Book faded away in 1964 when
large chain hotels open their businesses to
people of color.

Jesse Lasorda                   
Traveling in the U.S. from 1936-1964 for
People of Color
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