A Villages club and a Summerfield church are teaming up to present a reader’s theater version of a play depicting the struggles of African-Americans as they traveled across the country during the 20th century.
For three decades starting in 1936, New York City mailman Victor Hugo Green published “The Green Book: A Negro Motorist Guide” to help black motorists navigate through “white-only” communities and find friendly accommodations, a news release states. They often had difficulty finding gas stations, restaurants, and hotels that would serve them as they drove across the United States.
The African-American Club of The Villages and Tri-County Unitarian Universalists will present “The Green Book” at 3pm Tuesday, Feb. 20; 7pm Wednesday, Feb. 21; and 3pm Thursday, Feb. 22 at Tri-County Unitarian Universalists, 7280 SE 135th St., Summerfield. The public is invited. Tickets are $10, with the proceeds helping to fund scholarship programs of both organizations.
The play depicts a conversation between seven people who have used “The Green Book” to arrive at a home offering safety and hospitality. One of these travelers is a white Jewish man; everyone else is African-American.
“This performance will highlight an aspect of American history that is almost unknown outside those African-Americans of a certain age,” Tri-UU Rev. Janet Onnie says in the release.
Book Booker, president of the African-American Club of The Villages, agrees.
“Many people in the retirement communities in this area have lived through those Jim Crow times,” he says in the release. “So, after the reading, we will open the floor so that we can hear some of their stories as well.”
Permission to present the play in a reader’s theater format was granted by the playwright, Calvin Alexander Ramsey. Members of the African-American Club and Tri-County Unitarian Universalists will be the readers. The play is directed by Linda Hudson and produced by O.J. Sampson.