Inspired by the historic Green Book, a travel guidebook for African-American motorists during the Jim Crow era, Fullerton resident Danilo Batson created a website called Spicy Green Book, a nonprofit directory listing Black-owned businesses in the food and beverage industry.
“Each business has a story and we at Spicy Green Book set out to share them,” Batson said. “Getting these stories out will allow police and people of varying backgrounds to come and experience the culture within each business. Through this process, we will begin to humanize the Black community and change perspectives, which far too often lead to unnecessary violence and systematic oppression. As perspectives change, will see an increase of people who begin to value Black life and decrease the number of people who engage in violent acts toward the Black community. Here we can create a dialogue that allows the stereotype that says Black men and women are threats, to be disproven.”
The non-profit also helps these businesses with their branding and online communications by offering them services of professional photography, videography, design, and writing/journalism.
About the Historic Green Book
From 1936 to 1964, in the midst of the Jim Crow era, Black men and women were under the persistent threat of violence after sunset in the form of lynchings and other very real hate crimes. To help many escape this violence, Victor Green created the Negro Motorist Green Book. This book for Black car travelers listed vital, friendly places of refuge along the road during the segregation era that included hotels, gas stations, grocery stores, night clubs, restaurants, and “tourist homes” where homeowners welcomed travelers who had nowhere else to go.
“This valuable note of history not only shows us the racial discrimination that existed, but also the importance and ingenuity of Black entrepreneurship. Today we continue to push forward with Black innovation and invite you to be a part of it,” Batson said.
To learn more and find listings visit www.spicygreenbook.com. The new group is expanding its reach and is looking for volunteers, donors, and businesses who wish to be listed.