— courtesy of Perry Memorial Library
Click to Listen — TownTalk: Green Book Series Coming To Perry Memorial Library
The Perry Memorial Library will host a Community series that includes authors, Calvin Ramsey, Candacy Taylor, and Gretchen Sorin. The series will focus on the Green Book. The Negro Motorist Green Book was a guidebook for African American travelers that provided a list of hotels, boarding houses, taverns, restaurants, service stations and other establishments throughout the country that served African Americans. It was an annual guidebook that originated and was published by African-American New York City mailman, Victor Hugo Green from 1936 to 1966, during the era of Jim Crow laws.
On Monday, September 26th at 4 PM and 7 PM, author Calvin Ramsey will join us in person for a book discussion of his 2010 children’s book, Ruth and the Green Book. The story follows a young girl named Ruth who travels with her family from Chicago to Alabama to visit her grandmother. She learns of the Green Book which with its guidance and the kindness of strangers helps her family safely navigate travel during the Jim Crow era. Ramsey was born in Baltimore, Maryland and grew up in Roxboro, North Carolina. He is a playwright, photographer, and folk art painter. He is a former Advisory Board Member of the Robert Woodruff Library Special Collections at Emory University in Atlanta. He is also a recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award.
Candacy Taylor will join us virtually on Tuesday, September 27th at 4 PM in the library board room to discuss her book, Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America. The library has the adult version as well as the Young Adult adaptation available to readers to sign out. This book is a historical exploration of the Green Book and black travel with Jim Crow America across four decades. Taylor is an award-winning author, photographer and cultural documentarian working on a multidisciplinary project based on the Green Book. She is also the curator and content specialist for an exhibition that is currently touring by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). Taylor was a fellow at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University under the direction of Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and her projects have been commissioned and funded by numerous organizations including, The Library of Congress, National Geographic, The American Council of Learned Societies, The National Endowment for the Humanities, The National Park Service, and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
To conclude, our community read series, we will be joined virtually by Gretchen Sorin on Monday, October 3rd at 6 PM in the library board room. Sorin will discuss her book, Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights. Driving While Black charts how the automobile fundamentally reshaped African American life, and opens up an entirely new view onto one of the most important issues of our time. Sorin also co-created the PBS documentary, Driving While Black with Emmy-winning director, Ric Burns.
Gretchen Sorin is distinguished professor and director of the Cooperstown Graduate Program of the State University of New York. She has curated innumerable exhibits―including with the Smithsonian, the Jewish Museum and the New York State Historical Association―and lives in upstate New York.
This community read series is funded by the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries; an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The library has 25 copies of each author’s book to sign out at the circulation desk. “We are thrilled to be working with these three distinguished authors to discuss the significance of the green book” said Assistant Director, Christy Bondy. Henderson has three green book locations that have been identified. A zoom link will be provided prior to the virtual programs for those who cannot come to the library.
The library is located at 205 Breckenridge Street. For more information, call the library at 252-438-3316 or visit the website at www.perrylibrary.org.
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