Calvin’s book “Ruth and the Green Book” is featured among 10 children’s books that help white kids understand what children of color are up against.
“Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s book Ruth and the Green Book unveils the unfortunate treatment of blacks through the eyes of young Ruth who travels with her family from Chicago to Alabama using the help of The Green Book.”
“The year is 1940. You are in a ’37 Buick, driving west on the Dixie Overland Highway. You plan to take it all the way to California, but as things stand, you might not even make it to the Texas border. For you are black, and you are deep in Alabama, and night is coming.
This is the land of strange fruit: Elizabeth Lawrence, an elderly black woman who’d chastised white children for throwing rocks at her, lynched in 1933; Otis Parham, 16, set upon by a mob that couldn’t find the perpetrator of an alleged attack on a white man in 1934. They killed Parham instead and threw his body into a ditch. You don’t have to know the names of Alabama’s recently murdered to feel the presence of their ghosts in the roadside thickets of longleaf pine.”
“In Calvin Ramsey’s play, we meet Jacob, a Holocaust survivor, and Keith, a black traveling salesman who sells the Green Book. Both are guests at the home of a black family in Missouri. The play is set during the days of Jim Crow when travel wasn’t safe for people of color or religious minorities.”
“For much of the 20th century, African Americans were routinely refused service at many businesses. Victor Green, a New York City postal worker, created a travel guide called the “The Negro Motorist Green Book” that listed establishments that would not turn them away.”