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Press Release

May 16, 2019

Contact: Steve Hawkins
Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 405-522-0754

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.

Smithsonian Channel™, owned by Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, is where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing factual entertainment, available in HD and 4K Ultra HD across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel, winner of Emmy® and Peabody awards for its programming, combines the storytelling prowess of SHOWTIME® with the unmatched resources and rich traditions of the Smithsonian, to create programming that shines new light on popular genres such as air and space, travel, history, science, nature and pop culture. Among the network’s offerings are series including “Aerial America,” “America in Color,” “The Lost Tapes,” “Mighty Ships,” “Million Dollar American Princesses,” “The Pacific War in Color” and “Air Disasters,” as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include “The Coronation,” “The Mountain Lion and Me,” “Earth from Outer Space” and “Titanoboa: Monster Snake.” Smithsonian Networks also operates Smithsonian Channel Plus™, a subscription video streaming service delivering over a thousand hours of the channel’s stunning and diverse library of documentaries and series in HD and 4K Ultra HD. Smithsonian Channel is also available internationally in Canada, Singapore, Latin America and the UK. To learn more, go to www.smithsonianchannel.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagr

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