In the first episode of HBO's adaptation of Lovecraft Land, Main character Atticus Freeman embarks on a journey through Jim Crow America from the 1950s to find his missing father. With his friend Letitia and uncle George in tow, they will meet H.P. Lovecraft-inspired forest monsters and other scary events, but the real nightmare is the threat of violence from racist cops. And this is exactly where the interesting dynamic of Lovecraft Land Occurs: Monsters are terrifying, but vicious racism is absolutely terrible. In response to his experience, Uncle George decides to put together a travel book. (Yes, it's the same book that inspired the controversial Oscar winner Green book, but let's not dwell on that.)
What inspires the travel book in Lovecraft Country?
Uncle George's travel book is actually inspired by Victor Hugo Green The Negro Driver's Green PaperThis is one of the many references to literature found throughout the series (references to H.P. Lovecraft abound which are ironic due to his infamous racism). Green & # 39; s famous volume was an annual guide for African American road drivers published from 1936 to 1966 in times of segregation and intense Jim Crow laws. The Green book served as a guide to the services and places that were friendly – and perfectly legal – to black people in a time when segregation and discrimination were rampant. The guide was initially limited to the New York area, but was eventually extended to the United States.
Who Was Victor Hugo Green?
Green started out as a postman and eventually got the idea to write his famous one Green bookand later founded a travel agency. He was born in Harlem, New York City, where he lived during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. He noticed African Americans buying cars but had severe restrictions on where to go safely, especially when traveling. In the south, many hotels and restaurants banned black people by law or had to stay in separate facilities. But one day in 1936 he had an idea: to compile a comprehensive list of all the top hotels, restaurants, and even gas stations that African Americans would welcome and serve even though he dreamed of "some day in the world" in the near future, when this guide does not need to be published. "
Green started his own guide book publishing house, set up a vacation reservation service travel agent to book reservations at black-owned establishments, and eventually expanded to locations outside the US such as Bermuda and Mexico. By 1966, two years after the Civil Rights Act was passed, 15,000 copies were printed annually.
What is Green's experience with America?
Green published his Green book In response to terrible, nightmarish situations, he himself has seen and heard from countless black people. As black Americans bought more cars, in part to avoid public transportation segregation, they faced unimaginable difficulties. They have been denied hotel accommodation, denied restaurant service, and even denied auto repair shops when it comes to repairing a vehicle. Most terrifyingly, many road drivers in "sunset cities" were exposed to threats of violence and even threats to their lives. Both the book and the TV version of Lovecraft LandAtticus is confronted by a police officer who tells him that in seven minutes at sunset his "duty" would be to kill him. It was situations like this that made Green's guide so necessary, and the reason why Uncle George thinks it's imperative to create something on the show.