May 16, 2019
Oklahoma History Center to Offer Screening of Smithsonian Channel™ Documentary “The Green Book: Guide to Freedom”
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma History Center will offer a screening of the Smithsonian Channel documentary “The Green Book: Guide to Freedom” on Saturday, June 1, from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Chesapeake Event Center at the Oklahoma History Center, located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City. This film explores how and why African American postal employee Victor Hugo Green developed and published a guidebook that allowed black travelers to embrace the adventure of road trips while navigating safe passage through a segregated America. The screening is included with regular admission to the History Center. No advance ticketing is required and seating will be first-come, first-served. For more information, please call 405-522-0765.
In the 1930s, automobiles began to be used to take extended trips across the United States for touring and visiting family and friends. Because of segregation and discrimination, African Americans experienced repeated and sometimes violent incidents when traveling the same routes as white tourists. Victor Green, with the help of a network of other postal workers and friends, created a guide that allowed African Americans to navigate safely through areas of racial discrimination across the nation. The result was the “Negro Motorist Green Book.” In production from 1936 to the mid-1960s, the book offered information for African Americans traveling across the country, showing where black drivers and their families could eat, find lodging and enjoy themselves without experiencing racism or humiliation. This guidebook recently received a great deal of attention with the release of the Oscar-winning movie “Green Book,” a dramatized biopic focused on black musician Don Shirley and Tony Vallelonga, his Italian-American chauffeur and bodyguard, as they traveled through the Deep South during a concert tour in the early 1960s.
The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.
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