As part of the Fertile Ground Festival, join the BaseRoots Theatre Company for a reading of "The Green Book" tonight and Saturday at Po Shines Soul Food Café in Kenton at 8139 N. Denver Ave. in Portland. Shows start at 7 p.m. on Jan. 21 and 22.
According to BaseRoots:
"The 'Negro Motorist Green Book' was a travel guide published from 1936 to 1965, that helped black people find safe passage through the country around the pitfalls and dangers of racism. Listed in it were sanctuaries where they could eat, sleep, get gas, etc., and notification of dangerous places to avoid. In Calvin Alexander Ramsey's play, a safe house listed in the 'Green Book' is turned upside down when a Holocaust survivor asks to stay there. The ensuing philosophical and emotional conflict leads to one man's awakening to the dangers of the compromises he's made and a re-evaluation of his responsibilities to himself, his people and the world around him."
Director Bobby Bermea says that he had never heard of the Green Book until he read the play.
"It's why it interested me right out of the gate," he said.
The book was created and published by Victor H. Green, a postal carrier from Harlem, New York City. Publishing 15,000 copies a year, Bermea said the book was a way to both support Black businesses, as well as to help people hold onto their dignity.
The play is the beginning of BaseRoots' attempts to put on readings and plays that capture vignettes of the great African American progression in the Western Hemisphere, from slavery to the top leadership post in the free world.
"It's one of the most epic stories of human kind," he said.
http://www.baserootstheatre.org/shows.php Advance tickets are available online at BaseRoots or by calling 1-800-494-8497