The Green Book
We always talk about how black history is not taught in school. Even at the college level some of the essential things in Black history are missing. We read the same books, by the same authors. We study the same poetry by the same poets and discuss the same topics that have been discussed for years.
I have told you before, and I will tell you again that I am a dead cat (you know, curious). That being said, I am not waiting for anyone to teach me anything. With the birth of the internet, we have information at our fingertips. I tell my children this all of the time. My son is always asking me how is he supposed to know what to look up. My answer? Everything. If you see a word you don’t know, Google it. If you hear a term you never heard before, Google it. If you hear the name of someone that you have never heard before, Google them! I wish I had Google growing up. Oh my God! I would have been in even more trouble than I already was.
While looking up different topics for a paper that I was writing years ago on the Civil Rights Movement, I happened upon the name of Victor Hugo Green. I was shocked to know that a man of such importance had not been mentioned more and that I was learning about him and his creation of the Green Book in college.
When I first started hearing talks about the movie with the same name I was excited. I thought it was going to talk about Mr. Green and the other postal workers who helped establish the Green Book.
I was disappointed to find out that the movie wasn’t really about Mr. Green. I was still interested in it until I read an article with an interview from the family of Don Shirley stating that the movie was not a compliment to his life and accomplishments, but instead, it was mostly lies created by the family of Tony Vellelonga. I have to tell you that I will still see this movie. I will still see the movie because I want to pick out the truths within it. The Green Book while its reason for existence is sad and heartbreaking, the ability of Black people to once again overcome and come together to provide a safety net for one another in a place that is supposed to “mend thine every flaw, confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law.” It left out the part except for people of color.
Do we still need the Green Book? Some will say no, and some will say yes. Should we still need the Green Book? Definitely not. You decide if you will see the movie or not. What I can tell you is that not watching it does not make it go away, it just allows for any untruths to continue and for real truths to be hidden. Sometimes you find the invisible in the visible. Sometimes what you don’t see makes you look for what you want to see. Sometimes what you are not told is what you need to know. Don’t wait for anyone to teach you anything. Learn it on your own.