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Black History Month, day 16 (sigh . . . I am not cut out for daily blogging)

I have no interest in seeing yet another movie whose chief interest in racism is how it affects white people. That’s okay now and then–racism does, after all, affect white people–but it is so, so overdone. So I’ll skip Green Book, which last night joined Driving Miss Daisy and (so I’m told–haven’t seen it) Crash on the list of Oscar-bait movies that successfully hooked the big fish by using the most irresistible bait of all: making white people feel as if racism can be resolved without any real sacrifice on our part.

Instead, I’m going to watch the documentary The Green Book: Guide to Freedom, released today. I know a bit about the Green Book, thanks to an exhibit in San Francisco several years ago (I wrote very briefly about it here) and a passage in The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson’s fascinating book about the Great Migration, in which one of the Southern African-Americans whose stories she tells was driving across the country to California and couldn’t find places to stop. Unable to rent a room, and at risk of being arrested, not to mention attacked, if they pull over and sleep in the car: it’s a system designed to tell black people that they have no worth or dignity.


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