The Green Book

Ajanna Jackson, Writer

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The Green Book was a book that helped African Americans travel to safe places around the world. This book was created by Victor Hugo Green when segregation was allowed. If a non-white passenger proceeded to come to a place where they were not welcomed, then it got to the point that lynching came to play and jail time. “It didn’t matter if you were Lena Horne, Duke Ellington or Ralph Bunche traveling state to state, if the road was not friendly or obliging” it’s not a good choice to go down that road -Calvin Alexander Ramsey. The book allowed black passengers to travel to places they were welcomed such as restaurants, night clubs, pools, and so much more. This book created a life for the colored.

Mostly black- owned businesses were listed in the green book because they were so more open arms. It was an honor to have your house and or business in the green book due to the fact that you were viewed as a safe place for your people. This book was sold from 25 cents to a dollar. The book wasn’t a way to make money, it was a way to help out their people. Many copies were handed out to different facilities, so the book just kept on growing. More and more places were listed in the book and this book was known around the nation. Green [the owner of the book] predicted before he died that “There will be a day in the near future when this guide will not have to be published. This is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States.”

At this time Jim Crow was president so many unfair laws were still at place. The motto of the book was “Carry your Green Book with you—You may need it.” This book became very popular among travelers and a very useful tool. A customer named Earl Hutchinson believed “The ‘Green Book’ was the Bible of every negro highway traveler in the 1950s and early 1960s.” This became an international guide and was eventually used to travel between states. Two decades later he died and his wife Alma continued his work by publishing and updating it for a few more years. The ‘Green Book’ helped many and all people who used it for many long years.

Currently in society we are just now learning about the ‘Green Book’. This part of history got skipped over and left out of any and all history books. This part of history changed many lives for blacks and this continues to get unnoticed. Now movies are being created about this book [2018]. It won Academy Award for Best Picture at the Oscars. This movie demonstrates the life of the Green Book but it’s not in the perspective of a black person, it’s in a white male’s perspective. The true meaning for the green book is that it was made to help blacks so the movie should of been from a blacks person perspective.

The ‘Green Book’ was a useful tool in history and deserves to be taught just as much as any of black history.

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