Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Thesis (UNI Access Only)


From 1877-1965, African Americans experienced travel restrictions due to Jim Crow legislations. On public transportation, African Americans were often asked to switch seats to accommodate white passengers. In response to the discrimination faced on public transportation, African Americans transitioned to using the automobile for travel. Victor Hugo published the Negro Motorist Green Books from 1937 to 1967, which served as a guide for African Americans to find hotels, restaurants, and gas stations willing to serve African American customers along their routes. This thesis uses Massey’s scholarship on space to analyze how the rhetoric within the Negro Motorist Green Books enabled marginalized bodies to move through restricted space. Additionally, the visual advertisements through the strategic absence of African Americans portrayed as travelers (yet presence as workers) created a false sense of freedom and a hollow invitation for African American travelers.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Communication Studies

First Advisor

Catherine H. Palczewski, Chair, Thesis Committee

Second Advisor

Ryan E. McGeough, Thesis Committee Member

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (viii, 133 pages)



File Format


Available for download on Thursday, May 13, 2021

Off-Campus Download