The Real-Life ‘Green Book’ Saga – and the North Dakota Connection
Sunday night, a film called The Green Book won the Academy Award for best picture.
Turns out the film has a story-behind-the-story to tell about the history of race relations in America. And North Dakota is part of that history.
As the Fargo Forum reports, Green Book is the story of an African American musicians who hire an Italian-American bouncer to accompany him as a bodyguard as he tours the U.S. In the process the two men lean a lot about racism across America.
The real Green Book was a "Negro travel guide" published in the 1950s. "Here," said the book, "are the places where you can stop without being denied service or without putting yourself in harm's way."
The entry of "North Dakota" includes six locations across the state, including two in Bismarck - The Grand Pacific Hotel and the Motel Court - where presumably, African-Americans could stop and receive friendly service and accommodations.
Minnesota, as one would expect from a state with a more "progressive" legacy, had a larger number of hotels listed.
As the Forum notes, "Medora’s Rough Riders Hotel appears to be the only Green Book-approved establishment still in existence in North Dakota."
[Source: Fargo Forum]