‘Green Book’ Distorts Jim Crow Above the Mason Dixon Line

Brian Purnell
Mar 25, 2019 - 5:00
‘Green Book’ Distorts Jim Crow Above the Mason Dixon Line

Controversy and parody have swarmed the film Green Book, notably since it won the Best Picture Oscar last month. Many have criticized the film’s focus on a white heroic character, the resolution of racism through an interracial “buddy” story, and departure from the facts of Don Shirley’s life, according to Shirley’s family....

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6 Replies to “‘Green Book’ Distorts Jim Crow Above the Mason Dixon Line”

  1. Along with the north being as racist as the south, there was a more pernicious effect. During segregation in the south, matters were overt. With this separation black leaders led black folks. In our schools, curches and businesses, we saw black folks in charge. When I came north, whites were in charge of those institutions and black folks were consigned to what those white folks decided to make available. Their racism was maintained on the down-low while a pretense was made that the north was free and equal.

  2. I lived in Chicago south side “white area” in the 60s. Jim crow was alive and well. 60th street north to about 80th was “black”. Hyde park was “white”.
    The Daley machine and U C wanted to urban renew the Woodlawn area north of 60th. Working with Saul Alinski under the leadership of the Woodlawn blacks who organized the Woodlawn association stopped them cold!
    I have not lived in the area for decades but I bet not much has changed.
    This is where I learned that things happen if whites like me are waterfalls for the black community.

    1. Not much has changed. I’m from a bit further south (South Chicago, 87th St.) and can tell you that it is so segregated still to this day. The only difference is that now you have Haitians and Central Americans living there along with African Americans and other Latinos. Growing up there I never had a Caucasian classmate or neighbor.

  3. I really appreciate the review. I wasn’t able to put my finger on what was bothering me about this movie, other than it felt like it wasn’t addressing the real issues. Having the Northern / Southern lines drawn helped me understand again how often we still look at racial issues as a Southern thing (I’m from Utah) and yet the issues of white supremacy are so ingrained in all of our systems (school, theatre, work, recreation) that we have become blind to the parts we each play. Thank you for dismantling the problem of calling it out in all of us, rather than just ‘those’ southerners.

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