Victor Green, a postal worker living in Harlem, started the Negro Motorist's Green Book: A Guide to Accommodations in 1936. It was patterned after publications that informed Jews, who also faced discrimination, where accommodations were available to them.
From the introduction to the 1949 volume of the Green Book:
"There will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published. That is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States. It will be a great day for us to suspend this publication for then we can go wherever we please, and without embarrassment."
The last volume was published in 1966.