Green Book Sites in Cincinnati

The collated information from each year of Green Book entries reveals some confirmations of other research and some surprises. Here is a preliminary analysis of the data.

Locations: Both the map and a categorization of addresses shows that the West End and Walnut Hills were centers of Black Business. A few outliers to the north & west of Walnut Hills (YWCA, Lincoln Hotel and Club Tavern) were from the 1960’s., but a beauty parlor on Dick Street in the 1950’s may be wrongly located. About 10 of the places within the West End no longer have recognizable street addresses. Research Opportunity: Verify map locations for estimated map entries and beauty parlor.

Categories: The map has combined several categories held separate in the Green Books:  Night Clubs, Taverns and Road Houses are listed under Night Clubs and Taverns. Also, Garages and Service Stations were grouped in the map but separated in the Green Books. I retained Hotels and Tourist Homes as separate map categories, however. Research Opportunity: What did these categories mean at the time?

Frequency of Businesses: Beauty parlors and barbershops are frequent entries, especially during the post-war years; this confirms other research on Black Businesses. A few other categories were something of a surprise for a Motorist Guide: Tailors (4 listings) and Tourist Homes (2 listings). One of the Tourist Homes entry was for O. Steele; first on Beresford and then on Kerper, this establishment was listed in the Green Books every year of publication for Cincinnati. Research Opportunity: Who was O. Steele and what was the tourist home?

Finally, it would be interesting to find out where the Green Books were available in Cincinnati and, if possible, how Cincinnati businesses were solicited for entry. I suspect that as we learn more about the Black Business District in Walnut Hills, we might also ask what businesses were NOT listed that we would have expected.

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Metadata

JoAnne Morse, “Green Book Sites in Cincinnati,” Cincinnati Sites and Stories, accessed November 30, 2022, http://stories.cincinnatipreservation.org/items/show/61.