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LPB EXPLORES LOUISIANA'S GREEN BOOK HISTORY

Safe Haven:  Louisiana’s Green Book

A new digital first series from Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) explores the Louisiana businesses and places found in The Green Book, a guide that made travel possible for African-Americans during the Jim Crow era. The LPB mini-series Safe Haven: Louisiana’s Green Book premieres Friday, October 8, with the first episode on LPB’s YouTube Channel and at www.lpb.org/greenbook. Watch for new episodes each Friday through November 12.

The series is shot and co-produced by LPB’s Emma Reid and Kara St. Cyr, who also serves as the series on-camera guide. St. Cyr explored an important part of Louisiana history working on the series and gained valuable insight into her own history, as well. “One of the most sobering aspects of this project is not that it happened, but that the existence of sundown towns is so recent. African-Americans used The Green Book to navigate cities like Denham Springs while my parents were small children. This puts everything into perspective. I can appreciate my ancestors even more now that I understand the sacrifices they made just to live.”

The historically significant locations that Reid and St. Cyr showcase will take viewers across the state, and include hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and more. Some of the places visited include:

  • The Dew Drop Inn – New Orleans
  • Giron Tourist Home – Opelousas
  • George Washington Carver Branch Y.M.C.A. – Shreveport
  • Jake’s Café & Tourist Home - Bastrop

“Integration was a double edged sword for some of these businesses,” Reid says. “Many closed after The Green Book stopped publication while the famous Dooky Chase Restaurant in New Orleans remains open and thriving still today. Others, like the Dew Drop Inn, are looking for a second chance.”

The series is underwritten by ExxonMobil Baton Rouge. “There are so many Louisiana story-telling opportunities associated with the history of The Green Book,” says Stephanie Cargile, public and government affairs manager for ExxonMobil Baton Rouge. “ExxonMobil really wanted to focus on our state’s role and we knew LPB could help. It’s an important part in the history of race relations in our state.”