AAPEX is proud to announce that Atlanta playwright Calvin Ramsey's children's picture book Ruth and the Green Book, has won our AAPEX Book Award for 2012. Stunningly illustrated by Floyd Cooper, it follows
elementary school-aged Ruth on her first vacation in the early 1950's from Chicago to her grandmother's house in Alabama through a very segregated America. The journey exposes her to the ugly Jim Crow laws that made it nearly impossible for black people to travel freely through their own country. Encountering one "Whites Only" establishment after another, it's not until they stop at a friendly Esso service station (one of the few franchises at that time that allowed African American ownership) on the Georgia border that they learn of "The Green Book." Originally written by Victor H. Green in 1936 (and used through 1964), "The Negro Motorist Green Book" was a pamphlet that listed businesses and homes that would serve African Americans as they traveled around the country. Although Ruth's eyes have been firmly opened to the mean-spirited reality of her world, in the end Grandma saves the day with a loving, warm, never-to-be-forgotten reception. This book is a wonderful companion to Ramsey's play The Green Book and a great way of introducing children through elegant prose and magnificent art to a nearly forgotten period in African American history. No matter what your color or age, AAPEX highly recommends it to everyone. To buy the book on Amazon.com, please click the post's title.