The Green Book Chronicles: Screening & Discussion with Calvin Alexander Ramsey
Thursday, February 1, 2018
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
This live action documentary with animation aspires to be “Ken Burns + NPR StoryCorps + mixed-media animation”. Co-produced by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Becky Wible Searles (Director), the film is inspired by Ramsey’s extensive research and creative projects focusing on the 1936-67 travel guide series, The Negro Motorist Green Book, expanded in later years of publication to include international destinations and renamed The Negro Travelers Green Book. Currently in production as a one hour film, the live interviews, motion media, and animation segments explore a range of personal experiences connected to this little known Civil Rights era story.
Published by Harlem-based U. S. Post Office letter carrier, Victor H. Green, between 1936 and 1967 as a travel guide for African-Americans during the days of Jim Crow laws, the “Green Book” listed the addresses of tourist homes, gas stations, restaurants, beauty parlors, and other establishments that welcomed African Americans during times when many others did not. Even outside the deep South, travel could be inconvenient, embarrassing, or even dangerous if you were not white. The books were available at ESSO gas stations and other African American-friendly businesses, even including some white-owned establishments. Interestingly there were no phone numbers listed in the book, only addresses, so patrons would simply show up and be invited in, somewhat like a 20th Century Underground Railroad.