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Local Voices: Elaine Thomas

Through the Museum’s special exhibition, The Negro Motorist Green Book, visitors explore the rich history of Green Book destinations created by Black Americans and strategies that affirmed their humanity, their worth, their light, and their lives. The exhibition illustrates the resilience, innovation, and elegance of people choosing to live a full American existence.

In this video, Elaine Thomas shares what it was like to travel from Chicago to Mississippi with her family; her memories of the Sutherland Ballroom in Chicago; her 20-year career as a teacher at DuSable High School in Bronzeville; and more.

Video editing by Nathan Mendell, Senior Editor, Treetop Consulting.

The Negro Motorist Green Book was created by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with Candacy Taylor and made possible through the generous support of Exxon Mobil Corporation.

Public programming for the exhibition supported by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Additional Funders

Katherine Gates
Golder Family Foundation
Mark and Lisa Pinsky

Community Partners: Th­e Chicago Crusader; Chicago History Museum; Chicago State University Program in History and Africana Studies; The Links, Inc. North Shore Chapter; Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement, University of Illinois Chicago; Shorefront Legacy Center

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