Welcome to the Seattle Green Book Self-Guided Tour! This tour starts at King Street Station and continues up Jackson Street to the former site of Seattle's historic Black & Tan Club, following a trail of businesses listed in the Negro Motorist Green Book, which was published over a thirty-year period starting in 1936.
Most sites we'll visit today were listed in at least one edition of the Green Book. Four of these sites were not listed but are included here because they represent the links between past and present, and because these historic spaces - or ideas - have been revitalized and updated to meet present-day needs. This includes the Black & Tan Club itself, which was located at 12th & Jackson. Perhaps surprisingly, it never appeared in the Green Book directory, but we at Black & Tan Hall in the Rainier Valley aim to channel and uplift its legacy today.
For some Seattle businesses listed in the Green Book, we’ve found fascinating stories; others were open briefly and were little-documented. For the latter locations, we use the business as a jumping-off point to talk about broader forces and themes in Seattle’s history, such as the effects of Prohibition on businesses along this corridor.
First, a few notes on the tour itself:
- This content can be accessed in a browser, or downloaded to a smartphone or tablet for FREE from the Google or Apple stores. If you plan to walk the tour, consider downloading the app in advance.
- Browse from anywhere, or listen to the stories as you visit the neighborhood. Please support a local business while you are here!
- Each text article has a matching audio segment read by a member of Black & Tan Hall.
- Throughout the tour, click 'Read More' to expand text excerpts and get the full story.
- Most site entries include multiple images at the top. Swipe or tap to progress through the photos.
- To immerse yourself in songs that one might've heard at the old jazz clubs, check out the playlist links below!
- Visit the app again later for new content, including added historical tours and contemporary features on modern-day Black musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs in Seattle.
You can even leave feedback by phone or share your stories and recollections of the tour sites. To do so, dial (206)-202-6458 and press *0 at any time. Visit the Feedback and Contact page for more information.
This tour was developed by Seattle organization Black & Tan Hall. Initially planned as an in-person guided tour, during the COVID-19 pandemic we shifted to this online format to provide this information accessibly, for free, and on an ongoing basis, in order to lift up lesser-known local histories.
Visit the website below for more information!