Watch The Green Book: Guide to Freedom
- 1 hr
The Green Book: Guide to Freedom is a documentary film released in 2019, directed by Yoruba Richen, that tells the story of the Green Book travel guide, which was popular among African American travelers during the Jim Crow era in the United States. The Green Book travel guide was created by Victor Hugo Green, a postal worker from Harlem, New York, in 1936. The guide listed safe places where African Americans could eat, sleep, and shop while traveling, at a time when segregation and racism were rampant in the United States. The guide was updated annually and became an essential tool for African American travelers until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed segregation.
The documentary interviews historians and Civil Rights activists, as well as people who used the Green Book during their travels, to explore the impact of the guide on African American culture and history. The film also looks at the challenges faced by the creators and publishers of the Green Book, who faced threats and intimidation from racist groups.
One of the main themes of the film is the importance of mobility for African Americans during the Jim Crow era. The Green Book provided a sense of security and freedom for travelers, who could avoid the humiliation and danger of being turned away from a restaurant or hotel because of their skin color. The film shows how the Green Book helped to create a sense of African American community across the country, as travelers shared information about safe places to stay and exchanged stories about their experiences on the road.
The documentary also explores the impact of the Green Book on the Civil Rights Movement. The guide was used by activists to plan marches and demonstrations, and to navigate through segregated communities during voter registration campaigns. The film includes interviews with Civil Rights pioneers such as Congressman John Lewis, who describe how the Green Book was an important tool for organizing and resistance.
One of the most interesting aspects of the film is its exploration of the complexity of African American life during the Jim Crow era. The Green Book provided a sense of security, but it also meant that African Americans were limited in their travel options, and were forced to stay in separate and unequal accommodations. The documentary reveals how communities across the country reacted differently to the presence of African American travelers, with some embracing them and others rejecting them.
The Green Book: Guide to Freedom is a well-crafted and informative documentary that sheds light on an important but often overlooked aspect of American history. The film is visually engaging, with historical photographs and footage interspersed with interviews and reenactments. The use of music and sound effects also adds to the film's impact, creating an atmosphere that helps to immerse the viewer in the story.
Overall, The Green Book: Guide to Freedom is a must-see documentary for anyone interested in African American history, Civil Rights, or travel. The film provides a unique perspective on the challenges faced by African American travelers during the Jim Crow era, and celebrates the resilience and determination of those who used the Green Book to navigate a hostile and segregated country.
The Green Book: Guide to Freedom is a 2019 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.2.