"Traveling Without Aggravation" - How Victor H. Green Changed Travel for Black Americans: Green Book Locations in the Historic Rondo Community (1940 - 1956)
Saturday, February 25, 2023 - 10:00am to 11:30am
Washburn Library, 5244 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Traveling without aggravation, especially with our families and young folk was never easy for Black people during the Jim Crowe Era and before the signing of Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Negro Motorist Green Book (Green Book) by Victor H Green helped Black people find safe and welcoming tourist homes (boarding homes), restaurants, and other businesses that made leisure life a pleasurable life.
In fact, there were even locations in St. Paul, one such area in the early years was in the Historic Rondo Neighborhood/Community. In the the Green Book, there were nine listings. Find out why this book was so important. Imagine, traveling while Black to grandmother's house in Mississippi, a Baptist convention in Tennessee, or to an NAACP meeting in Duluth, MN could be very dangerous! In this presentation, hear the stories of these Rondo owners and how their businesses named in the Green Book, served as safe havens for Black Travelers.
Nieeta Pressley is a Retired Executive of Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation (2020, ASANDC). Currently, the owner of New Life Possibilities, LLC Consulting - “Looking Beyond the Opportunities by Creating the Greatest POSSIBILITIES” and the coordinator for the Rondo Round Table, a collaboration of Rondo organizations spearheading the vision to preserve the legacy and the history of the community under the administration of ReConnect Rondo, which is leading a project to build a land bridge over I-94.
She serves as secretary on the Saint Paul Planning Commission. She is First Vice President for the NAACP Saint Paul Branch Roy Wilkins Memorial Branch 4052. Nieeta was the 2019 winner of the Twin Cities LISC and Metropolitan Community Consortium of Developers’ (MCCD) Community Development’s Hall of Fame. In 2019, Nieeta was honored for her work as an Influential St Paul Developer in Community Development by the Goldstein Museum of Design and University of Minnesota’s College of Design.
Most importantly, lead and raised funding to produce the first non-European Historic Cultural Context Study (1837 – 1975). She served as the lead coordinator and facilitated both the Cross-sector Advisory Team and the community process to develop that study which is award winning as The Saint Paul African American Historic Cultural Context Study.
She has three children, 19 Grandchildren and 12 Great-grandchildren.