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‘The Green Book of South Carolina’ is the go-to black travel guide for this summer

This new app allows users to easily find historic black sites in South Carolina

Those seeking to find historic sites that dig deeper into the rich African-American culture of South Carolina this summer will be able to search for exactly what they need with the click of an app.

The Green Book of South Carolina, the brainchild of the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, is a free mobile travel guide app that highlights more than 300 sites, including cultural attractions, historic cemeteries, districts and markers, and even historically black colleges and universities in the area. The user-friendly app categorizes the sites and uses geotags and interactive maps to show places located within 25 miles of a user’s location.

“This is one of the first statewide mobile travel guides to African-American cultural destinations to be produced by a state anywhere in the U.S.,” South Carolina Sen. Vincent Sheheen told The Journal Network. “It is positioned to increase even further the $2.4 billion annual economic impact of African-American tourism in our state.”

The app’s name and ideas are borrowed and largely inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book, an international travelers guide created for African-Americans seeking safe places to relax and enjoy themselves during the strict laws and hostile environment of the Jim Crow segregation era. The Green Book, published from 1936 to 1964, was the creation of Harlem, New York, native and postal carrier Victor Hugo Green. It became a bible for African-American travelers who heavily relied on its guidance for hotels, hot meals, safer traveling routes and relaxation without harassment. In its later years, the book was renamed The Negro Travelers’ Green Book and still served the same purpose, updated with more than 1,500 eateries and tourist attractions.

Although the app is a great way to help explore the African-American history that South Carolina has to offer, Dawn Dawson-House, director of corporate communications at the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, encourages users to also follow the app’s social media accounts for last-minute attractions and pop-up events that may not be included in the app.

“One of the best ways to engage with the app is to go to our social media accounts and follow those because there are a lot of things about South Carolina, culturalwise, that are not included with the app that we are able to express on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram,” Dawson-House said. “For example, there is information about black-owned restaurants in South Carolina, festivals that African-Americans run in South Carolina, etc. So if you really want the entire experience of what the Green Book is trying to convey, you have to follow us on our social media pages.”

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.