Smithsonian Channel is prepping a documentary that will take a deep dive into Victor H. Green’s influential travel guide, The Negro Motorist Green Book, that allowed African Americans to safely tour the country during an era of severe institutionalized racism.
The Green Book: Guide To Freedom features an array of experts who delve into the history of the travel guide, its historians, business owners and individuals who experienced first-hand the reality of “traveling while black” in pre-civil rights America. Written and directed by filmmaker Yoruba Richen, the documentary looks at the daily struggles, indignities and dangers, and opportunities that African Americans faced while traveling.
Produced by UK-based indie Impossible Factual Limited, the one-hour doc will also showcase the businesses and communities that flourished due to the success of the travel guide, including the African American middle class in Detroit, the vacation spot in western Michigan of Idlewild, and the A.G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham, Alabama, which served as a pivotal location in the civil rights movement.
In addition, Smithsonian Channel is bringing the documentary to 18 markets across the country for screenings and discussions in partnership with Comcast, Charter and Altice as part of the network’s Black History Month initiative.
“We are proud to tell the true story behind this remarkable guide and to shine new light on this disturbing yet important period in American history,” said David Royle, Smithsonian Channel’s chief programming officer, in a statement.
The Green Book: Guide To Freedom premieres Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel and will also be available to stream via the Smithsonian Channel app beginning Feb. 18.