Louis Venters, Ph.D.
Public History Consultant
The Green Book
of South Carolina
Winner, 2017 Palmetto Award of Excellence for Marketing Communication, International Association of Business Communicators, SC Chapter!
Winner, 2017 Shining Example Award for Best Niche Marketing Campaign, Southeast Tourism Society!
Launched in the spring of 2017 by the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, a small state agency, The Green Book of South Carolina is the first mobile travel guide to the state's African American historic and cultural sites. It provides a user-friendly, place-based guide to South Carolina’s African American history from the colonial era to the recent past. The Green Book showcases more than 300 sites across all of the state’s 46 counties, each of which is either listed on the National Register of Historic Places or has a State Historic Marker (or both).
Users can search by category—such as historic districts, churches, and schools—or by map, zooming in and out of the map view of the directory to find listings near them or near a town or city that they plan to visit. Each listing includes a narrative explaining the historic significance of the site, images, map points, a link to directions, and other useful information.
By inviting people to venture off the beaten path, the project aims to expand the impact of tourism—South Carolina’s largest industry—beyond the coast, increasing the economic impact of African American heritage sites and the municipalities in which they are located.
The project’s name is an homage to the Negro Motorist Green Book, an essential guide to safe harbors and welcoming establishments across the United States published during the Jim Crow era. Today, a half-century after the civil rights movement, the new Green Book imparts what it bills as a “new Southern experience,” insisting that people of African descent are and have been central to the history of South Carolina and the nation and welcoming visitors and residents of all backgrounds to to explore and experience the sites that tell their stories.