Smithsonian Channel’s “Green Book” documentary airs Monday

An hour-long documentary on the Smithsonian Channel, “The Green Book — Guide to Freedom,” will premiere at 8 p.m. Eastern on Monday.

The film about the Negro Motorist Green Book, which was published during the Jim Crow segregation era from 1936 to 1966, also will air other times on the channel. Check your local listings. The film also is available to stream now on the Smithsonian Channel app.

Here is a 2 1/2-minute trailer for the film:

The Detroit Free Press talked to Yoruba Richen, who directed the film:

“I was surprised I had never heard about it,” said Richen, who lives in New York City. “I thought how ingenious it was for this man to create this guide.” […]

“One of the great things about making this film was showing the community that the Green Book spotlighted. Despite the dangers, the African-American community created their own spaces for leisure and pleasure,” she said.

“Finding people who used the Green Book was an issue. We found many people through word of mouth,” she said. […]

“In the film, we talk about what cars meant to the African-American community and the dangers we also faced when driving on places like Route 66,” she said.

The Green Book is experiencing unprecedented attention. Not only was the publication a premise of the Oscar-nominated film “Green Book,” but Candacy Taylor later this year will have two books released from a major publisher about the book. In fact, Taylor discussed the Green Book during a panel discussion about the Smithsonian film last week in Denver.

It should be noted, however, that Richen and Taylor have not publicly supported the “Green Book” movie because the family of one of the characters has cited inaccuracies in the film. But they acknowledged the movie has sparked interest in the Green Book itself.

(Movie poster of the Smithsonian Channel’s “The Green Book — Guide to Freedom” film)

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