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5th Grade Library: Ruth and the Green Book & Primary Sources

Primary Source Video

Ruth and the Green Book

Ruth and the Green Book gives a fictional account of an African American family traveling from Chicago to Alabama. Along the way, they are refused service at a gas station and motel. Eventually, they discover the Green Book and use it for the remainder of their trip.

The Negro Motorist Green Book was published yearly between 1936 and 1964. Meant for travelers, it documented places that would serve and house African Americans throughout the country and eventually even outside of it.

Source: https://knowledgequest.aasl.org/pairing-picture-books-and-primary-sources-ruth-and-the-green-book-by-calvin-alexander-ramsey/

Duke Ellington Photo


[Duke Ellington and band members playing baseball in front of their segregated motel ("Astor Motel") while touring in Florida]

Photograph showing Duke Ellington swinging a bat in front of his "Duke Ellington: Mr. Hi-Fi of 1955" tour bus; sign for "Astor Motel - Colored" in background.




They needed the 1955 Green Book for their tour. 

See if you can find the page with the listing for the Astor Hotel (hint: look at the photo above for a clue about where the hotel is located). 




Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LOC): 

Brooks, Charlotte, photographer. Duke Ellington and band members playing baseball in front of their segregated motel "Astor Motel" while touring in Florida. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2009632168/>.


Primary vs Secondary Sources



Digital Public Library

Take a look at the Digital Public Library of America, which has over 35 million primary sources from across the United States

Primary versus Secondary