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  • most of us have good heart, and most people want everybody to just have a fair and equal life in this country.

  • But there was always kind of a disconnect, and there still is in terms of understanding how our history iss so close to us.

  • It's so important that we honor this history, but also learn from it.

  • My name is Candidacy Taylor.

  • I'm a cultural documentarian working on a project based on the Green Book, which was a travel guide that was published for black people during the Jim Crow era.

  • Its service not only black migrants who were leaving the South during the second wave of the great migration, but also black entrepreneurs, celebrities and all kinds of folks who just wanted to take vacation like every other American.

  • By 1960 to 2 million people were using the green book.

  • It was the bible of black travel, and that largely speaks to just how critical it waas for safety.

  • For instance, a sundown town was a place.

  • It was all white on purpose, and if you were black, you were not allowed after six PM When I first started this project, I kept reading about this show first hat that black people would pretend to be a chauffeur to help them get out of situations with law enforcement.

  • And I asked my step Dad, One day I said, Is this true?

  • And he said, Yeah, he said it happened to him when he was a child writing in the back seat of his parents car.

  • Then they got pulled over by sheriff and his father turned and looked at him.

  • He said, Don't say a word and the sheriff said, Who are these people?

  • Whose car is this?

  • Where you going?

  • Ron's father said, This is my employer's car.

  • He turned to his wife and said, She's the maid and this is her son and I'm driving them home.

  • And the sheriff, you know, kind of balked and said, Well, where's your hat?

  • And he said, It's hanging in the back, Officer.

  • So there were props.

  • There were ruse is tools that you had to use to stay safe and stay alive.

  • And the green book was just simply another one of those tools.

  • I'm creating an interactive map that shows not only green book sites, but sundown towns, socioeconomic statistics like lead poisoning or educational disparities or income disparities or private prisons.

  • The map is such a critical tool in telling this story because there's so much data.

  • There were about 10,000 businesses listed in the Green Book, and I've scouted over 4000 sites.

  • I've estimated that about 80% of the buildings have been just erased from the landscape, and less than 3% are still operating.

  • But L.

  • A has either the largest of the second largest number that are still standing.

  • Were sitting in the Dunbar when it was built by a man who was a black dentist.

  • He was sick of being thrown out of hotels, so he thought, while just build my own.

  • Okay, how are you?

  • Welcome to the Dunbar.

  • Is it?

  • Dunbar was called the Waldorf Astoria of Black America.

  • The best of the best.

  • This is a piece of history.

  • You can see this quote here.

  • It was a hotel, a jeweled done with loving hands.

  • Funny that a hotel so impressed.

  • But it was so unexpected, so startling.

  • So beautiful.

  • W E B du Bois.

  • Incredible.

  • It's incredible.

  • Billie Holiday, of course.

  • Great singer.

  • To Ellington, this was the hub of L.

  • A black culture back in the thirties and forties, this was the place to be.

  • It's really critical to understand what these places look like today and how racism has shaped how we move, especially as black people through this country where we stay in how we live.

  • So this is the raw data of my working map.

  • Let's look at where we are now in Los Angeles and see what happens when we zoom in the Dunbar.

  • For example, when the interactive map is completed, you'll see images from the Dunbar Historical and Current Oh my gosh.

  • So all of this is Dunbar?

  • This'll is incredible that we have these artifacts because there's so few green book sites that are even still here, right?

  • The fact that it's not all lost God when I get to a green book site.

  • First of all, I want to see if it's still there.

  • I'll try and find the owner, and then I go and I do interviews.

  • I've interviewed a man who worked in a green book side in Montgomery, Alabama, called the Ben More Hotel, and he was Martin Luther King's barber, and at that time, the strategy for the Montgomery bus boycott was happening.

  • And so all those conversations with Thurgood Marshall on all of these people who were on the front lines of this history.

  • We're sitting in that barbershop, so it's a really honor, not just that the buildings air here, but to try and capture the stories behind them.

  • So the screen book Mac that I'm developing is including both historical and current data regarding race and mobility and access to equality.

  • The swastikas are KKK and other hate groups from the 2015 senses, so that brings it into today.

  • Being able to visualize data really helps tell the story of not just the green book, but of our current situation with race and class.

  • In America today, digital data can just change our lives.

  • I'm working on an augmented reality platform in a mobile app to actually scan so you can see what was there, what it looked like when it was in the Green book, kind of collapsing the present and the past and to a story, because I think that's been important to me that people don't look at the green book and say, Oh my gosh, that's something that happened in the past and thank God we don't need that anymore.

  • It's important that we learned the real history of what the green book Waas, how it really transformed access and mobility for a race of people.

  • It gave them the strength to persevere in spite of all the challenges that were ahead of them.

  • This guide made it possible for them to move forward.

  • Anyway, it was extremely powerful.

most of us have good heart, and most people want everybody to just have a fair and equal life in this country.

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Mapping the Green Book | National Geographic

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/12
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