The Filmmakers



 Above: Calvin Alexander Ramsey and his award-winning children’s book                     (Photo by Roy Speller Sr.)


… acted on his life-long dream to become a writer in 2001 when he was laid over in Boston’s Logan Airport, several days before the 9/11 bombings. Having a revelation that “dreams are really desires” and time was short to accomplish his dreams, the world changed a few days later and so did Calvin. That moment launched him into researching his first play and becoming the writer he’d always wanted to be.

Born in Baltimore MD where his father worked in the steel mills, Calvin’s family moved when he was young to Roxboro, North Carolina in a kind of “reverse migration.” As an adult, Calvin took tentative steps along the writer’s road before 9/11, soaking up experiences and stories while living in Martha’s Vineyard MA, New York City, Santa Monica CA, and St. Croix, Virgin Islands. He attended writing workshops during his travels and took writing classes at UCLA.

Settling down in Atlanta in 1988, his career in insurance sales led to serving on the Advisory Board of Special Collections at Emory University’s Woodruff Library for five years, a virtual writer’s playground of inspiration, even if he wasn’t yet ready to define himself as a writer until the turning point in 2001.

Ramsey’s creative journey with the Green Book began in June 2004 when he completed a fictional stage play by the same name that became a finalist in the 12th Annual Last Frontier Theater Conference in Valdez, Alaska where it was critiqued by theatrical luminaries including Edward Albee and Patricia Neal. Readings of the play were presented at La MaMa E.T.C. in New York, directed by George Ferencz, as well as Baltimore Hebrew University, co-sponsored by the Baltimore Chapter of the NAACP, the Baltimore Jewish Council and the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Civil Rights leader, Julian Bond, was cast in a cameo role as Victor Green when the play moved on to a reading at the restored Lincoln Theater in Washington, DC. “The Green Book” premiered to sellout audiences as a fully staged production in 2011 at Atlanta’s Theatrical Outfit ( To date, Calvin has also written more than a dozen other plays, ranging in subject matter from Parisian nightclub owner, Bricktop, to one of Georgia’s favorite sons, Johnny Mercer, to the stark realities of Ku Klux Klan rallies in Stone Mountain GA to 1930’s American actor and early civil rights activist, Canada Lee, with others currently in development.

Translating challenging material for a younger audience, in 2010 Ramsey wrote his award-winning children’s book, “Ruth and the Green Book”, with illustrations by Floyd Cooper, and has been regularly invited to give readings at museums, libraries, and events ever since. Then in 2012 and supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Jon Ludwig, Artistic Director of Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts, collaborated with Calvin to turn the children’s book into a theatrical production, combining live actors, puppets, and animated projections, along with original music by S. Renee Clark and a video-taped afterword by Georgia’s Congressman John Lewis ( In 2011, Calvin wrote a second children’s book, “Belle, The Last Mule at Gee’s Bend: A Civil Rights Story” about the humble mule who pulled the wagon for Dr. Martin Luther King’s funeral. Ramsey served for three years on the Georgia Council for the Arts Theater Panel and is a recipient of both the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award and the BLACK MEETINGS AND TOURISM MAGAZINE APEX Award for Distinguished Service.


Above: “Ruth and the Green Book” at the Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta GA featuring live            performances with visible puppeteers as well as animated projections (2012) / Adapted from Calvin’s children’s book by Artistic Director Jon Ludwig (Photo by Clay Walker)

BECKY WIBLE SEARLES Director / Co-Producer

… while a professor of Animation at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Atlanta, took a large group of students in 2012 to see “Ruth and the Green Book” at the Center for Puppetry Arts, met Calvin, and invited him to come speak to students at SCAD about being an author and playwright. Eventually Calvin asked Becky, “Any interest in making a short documentary together interviewing people I know who have used the Green Book?” and she happily answered, “Sure, as long as we can include some animation!”

BWS_v2_11_18_14992051_1033955286715875_219687198826932330_nWible Searles (rhymes with “bible squirrels”) grew up in northern Ohio, hearing that family ancestors had owned a tavern in Painesville OH near Lake Erie, Rider’s Inn (see below), that had been a stop on the Underground Railway, sparking a life-long interest in Civil Rights stories. She owned her own production company in New York City for 14 years, One Eighty One Productions, specializing in clay, stop motion, and mixed-media animation, often combining it with live action for clients such as Nickelodeon, National Geographic, AT&T, Showtime, and Kool-Aid and can be seen on camera in two episodes of the PBS series “Reading Rainbow”.

Becky was a professor of animation at Savannah College of Art and Design, first for 7 years in Savannah and then for a decade on the Atlanta campus through spring 2019. Prior to SCAD she was on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute, the New School, and Marymount College, NYC as well as the Art Center Design College, Tucson AZ/Albuquerque NM (now known as Southwest University for the Arts).  She is a mixed-media artist whose work has been shown in galleries, including was the Whitney Museum in New York City in 2017, and collaborates with her husband, Jimmy, recently forming Piktoglyph LLC for a variety of art, film, and writing projects. GSUTV in partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting and coordinated by Robert Judson featured her in their half hour “Indie Filmmakers” series focusing on Becky’s background as a mixed-media artist / filmmaker and her collaboration with Calvin Alexander Ramsey to develop THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES /



THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES team has been very fortunate to work with a diverse production crew, starting with over 30 students and professors from the Animation, TV Producing/ Film/Video, Motion Media, and Illustration departments at Savannah College of Art and Design’s Atlanta campus and then transitioning to local professional crews in Atlanta (some of whom had previously been on the student crew), New York City, Myrtle Beach SC, and Birmingham AL. We are very grateful for everyone’s contributions, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes to help bring these Green Book stories to the screen! (Partial crew photos below followed by a full credit list.)




This film would not be possible without the generosity of our interview cast who shared their stories with us:

Gordon Brown

Patricia Burgess

Mike Chestnut (Myrtle Beach City Council)

Keith Cromwell (Red Mountain Theatre)

Leah Dickerman (Museum of Modern Art)

Howard Glener

Curtis Graves

Brian Green

Ramona Green

Shirley Henderson (Coleman)

Gloria Herbert (Black Meetings and Tourism Magazine)

Solomon Herbert (Black Meetings and Tourism Magazine)

Phillis Holliday

Wellington Cox Howard III

Gary Kirksey

Congressman John Lewis

Maira Liriano (Schomburg Center for Research in Black  Culture)

John Maloney

Herbert Riley

Winter Shepherd (Red Mountain Theatre)

Anthony Smith

Marie Sutton

Candacy Taylor

Dino Thompson

Dr. Joyce Verrett

Wilbert Verrett

Dr. Albert Volmer

Bishop Calvin Wallace Woods

Charles Woods III (Birmingham Civil Rights Institute)

Paula Wynter

Charles Yarbrough


Director: Becky Wible Searles

Co-Producers: Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Becky Wible Searles

Assistant Producer / Research / Photography: Jimmy Searles


Funding Support in part from:

  • The Len Ragozin Foundation / Mary Lonergan
  • UAW Region 8 / Raymond Curry
  • Associate Producers: Dr. Michael R. Ragan and Dr. Deborah V. Payton George
  • Curtis Graves


Editors: Kelly Rose Magnusson and Zach White

Cinematographer / Audio (NYC, Newark, Washington DC): Rob Niosi

Cinematographer / Audio (Myrtle Beach): Jay Burgess

Cinematographer / Audio (Birmingham): Drew Francis

Production Assistant (NYC): TJ Jones

Production Photographer (ATL): Marty McPherson


“Mapping Jim Crow” Concept, Design, and Animation: Kelly Turner

“Mapping Jim Crow” Score: Hank Roberts and Tenzin / Lyra Music


Trailer Audio Sweetening: Beau Jimenez

Trailer Colorist: John Peterson


SCAD Atlanta Student Teams:

TV Producing / Interviews (ATL)

  • Video Camera / Audio Engineer: David Howell
  • Research, Logging, and Preview Video Development: Bernard Jackson
  • Additional Research, Logging, and Video Shoot/Audio Assistance: Eolyn Arnold, Morgan Dixon, Layla Harleston, Chris Johnson, Kelly Rose Magnusson, Alejandra Morales, Ben Tincher, and Lance White

Supervised by Professor James Arnold

Animation / Illustration

  • “New York Postcard”: Ammar Nassri and Zhou Quan
  • “Florida Postcard”: Seungbin Ahn
  • “ESSO” and “Crosby’s Motel”: Kodi Bobo


Motion Media

  • Preview Video Edits: Reggie Harrison, Evleen Huang, Injae Lee, Britt Lyle II, and Sarah Shipman

Supervised by Professor Alessandro Imperato


  • “Billie Holiday” Mariel Cartin
  • “Muddy Waters” Rick Lovell
  • “Ella Fitzgerald” June Brigman
  • “John Coltrane” Ju Wang
  • “The Green Book Chronicles” Yohey Horshita
  • “Duke Ellington” Rick Lovell

Supervised by Professor Rick Lovell and Professor Mike Lowery


SPECIAL THANKS to the following for their support and permission to shoot on location:

MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NYC / Jacob Lawrence “Migration Series”

  • Leah Dickerman, The Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture
  • Margaret Doyle, Director of Communications
  • Meg Montgoris, Publicist
  • Stephanie Katsias, Communications Intern
  • Janelle Grace, Publicity Coordinator



  • Maira Liriano, Associate Chief Librarian
  • Erika Paul, Pre-Professional
  • Adenike Olanrewaju, Senior Publicist, The New York Public Library



  • Rosa Brito, Manager
  • Julia Collins, Vice President


We’d also like to acknowledge invaluable help from the following Research Library Staff:

Randall Burkett –  Former Curator of African American Collections, MARBL, Emory University, Atlanta GA

Friedrich Hamer –  Curator of Published Materials, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia SC

Eleanor Hunter –  Librarian, Auburn Avenue Library of Research on African American Culture and History, Atlanta GA

Karen L. Jefferson –  Records Manager, Atlanta University Center, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta GA

Adam Watson –  Photographic Archivist, Florida Memory, Division Of Library and Information Services


Eve M. Kahn, New York Times

Jim Bowhall, Resolution ATL

SCAD Atlanta:

  • Tina O’Hailey
  • Matthew Maloney
  • Carmen Taylor
  • Kevin Moss


(Complete Additional Donors List to come)

For more information about this film:

For related information:

Jacob Lawrence “Migration Series” at the Museum of Modern Art:

The Green Books Collection at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture:





January 20, 2020: The Dumas Hotel Legacy, Inc. in Roanoke VA in collaboration with Community Artsreach presents an adaption of Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s children’s book, “Belle, the Last Mule of Gee’s Bend: Civil Rights Story” brought to life by Artistic Director Bernadette “BJ” Brown / 6:00 pm at Anchor of Hope High Street Baptist Church, Roanoke. For more information visit

January 23 through February 23, 2020: Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s play “The Green Book” at the Ensemble Theatre, Houston TX. For more information, visit

Saturdays (date/time TBA): Calvin debuts his new weekly radio show, “Green Book Nation” on WMCA AM 570. The program will broadcast good news and accomplish-ments from our past to the present as our Green Book projects continue.

Watch this space for upcoming presentations by Calvin Alexander Ramsey, Becky Wible Searles, and other events related to “The Green Book Chronicles”

News and Events ARCHIVE

October 13, 2019: The Harrison Museum of African American Culture in Roanoke VA presented “The Incomparable Artistry of Calvin Ramsey” at the Trinkle Theatre at Center in the Square, including a book signing and reception. For information visit

October 2 and 3, 2019: Calvin’s stage play, “The Green Book” at the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center, Decatur, GA. Visit for more information.

September 28, 2019: The Santa Monica History Museum, Santa Monica CA presented “Discover the History: The Green Book” featuring Gloria and Solomon Herbert of Black Meetings & Tourism Magazine/Media, co-creators of the NEW Green Book digital travel directory and podcast, and Jo Kieta of Nubian Tours, sharing her experiences using the Green Books as a travel coordinator for Motown performers. We are thrilled to have interviewed the Herberts for THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES. The Museum screened a 13:00 excerpt from our film at this free event made possible by the California Historic Route 66 Association. For more information, visit

September 18, 2019: The Arts Council of Princeton NJ presented a lecture about the Green Book by Calvin as part of a fundraiser for the Witherspoon-Jackson Historical and Cultural Society. For more information visit

September 1, 2019: Philadelphia Museum of Art: Calvin read his children’s book, “Belle, the Last Mule of Gee’s Bend: A Civil Rights Story” as part of Meet the Author Storytime in conjunction with the exhibition Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South

August 28, 2019: New Haven CT: Presentation about the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey at the Stetson Branch Public Library

August 3, 2019: Roanoke VA: The Dumas Legacy Ball presents “An Evening with Calvin Alexander Ramsey, Green Book Author / Playwright” celebrating the Dumas Hotel, listed for many years in the Green Books and currently a community center. One of the few surviving Green Book sites.

July 30, 2019: Harry Belafonte 115th Street Library Branch of the New York Public Library NYC: “Hidden Figures Behind the Green Book” presentation by Calvin Alexander Ramsey

June 30, 2019: Harper’s Ferry WV: Calvin Alexander Ramsey book signing at the 75th Anniversary of Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park and Storrer College. Also further research and development for Calvin’s play about John Brown to be presented in 2020.

May 24, 2019: Baltimore MD: Multi-Cultural Book Fair and Festival, Cherry Hill Library reading and Green Book presentation by Calvin Alexander Ramsey

May 15, 2019: Workers Unite Film Festival NYC: Staged concert reading of “The Green Book” play by Calvin Alexander Ramsey

February, 2019: In celebration of Black History Month, Calvin Alexander Ramsey presented talks about his Green Book projects and our film at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, JetBlue, New City Hall, and Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington MA (birthplace of W.E.B. DuBois)

February 2019: GSUTV in partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting featured Becky Wible Searles in their half hour “Indie Filmmakers” series focusing on her background as a mixed-media artist / filmmaker and development of “The Green Book Chronicles” /

February, 2019: Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s play, “The Green Book”, was presented in Louisville KY by the Bunbury Theatre Company and Tulsa, OK at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center

January-February 2019: “Cosmocean”, a short collaborative experimental animation visual music film by a diverse team of students from all over the world in one of Becky Wible Searles’ classes at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Atlanta was selected for screening at the London Experimental Film Festival and the Athens ANIMFest in Athens, Greece

November 18, 2018: Calvin Alexander Ramsey initiated and hosted the “First Annual Victor and Alma Green Appreciation Day” in Harlem at the Morris-Jumel Mansion NYC (Manhattan’s Oldest House) with proclamations by Mayor Bill de Blasio and others

April 5, 2018: Museum of Arts and Design NYC “THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES: Screening and Discussion with Calvin Alexander Ramsey” plus a Q and A session with Calvin, Becky Wible Searles, and Maira Liriano (Associate Chief Librarian of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture)

March 1 – April 8, 2018: Museum of Arts and Design NYC included new 13:00 sample edit of THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES as part of their show, “Unpacking the Green Book: Travel and Segregation in Jim Crow America” as an on-going screening in their Learning Lounge.

March 1 – April 1, 2018: Pegasus Theatre, Chicago IL presentation of “The Green Book” play by Calvin Alexander Ramsey

March 22, 2018: Calvin Alexander Ramsey presentation with other children’s book writers at the 14th Annual National Black Writers Conference Youth Literacy Program “Healing, Legacy, and Activism”, Medgar Evers College / CUNY, Brooklyn NY

November 17, 2017 – March 2018: Becky Wible Searles’ mixed-media xerography piece “Untitled” included in the Whitney Museum NYC show “Experiments in Electrostatics: Photocopy Work from the Whitney’s Collection, 1966-1986”

February 24, 2018: Revolution Books in Harlem NYC hosted Calvin Alexander Ramsey for a presentation about “Ruth and the Green Book”

February 1, 2018: Calvin Alexander Ramsey presentation at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati OH about Green Book projects, including progress on THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES

December 2017: Interviews and location filming for THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES in Myrtle Beach SC focused on Charlie’s Place / Fitzgerald’s Motel, listed in the Green Books and the grass roots movement to restore it as a community center, spearheaded by local musician and activist, Herbert Riley. Additional interviews about Charlie’s Place included Patricia Burgess, Dino Thompson, and City Council Member, Mike Chestnut, as well as resident, John Maloney, sharing memories of Washington DC’s famous U Street District.

November 28, 2017: Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s play, “Damaged Virtues: A Cry from Within” reading at the National Black Theatre, NYC about three slave women under the knife of Dr. J. Marion Sims, known as the “Father of Modern Gynecology.”

September 2017: Interviews and location filming for THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES in Washington DC including Gloria and Solomon Herbert, publishers of Black Meetings & Tourism Magazine/Media Company the Green Book exhibit at the National Museum of African American History, and the historic U Street District.

July 29, 2017: The APEX Award for Distinguished Service presented to Calvin Alexander Ramsey by Black Meetings & Tourism Magazine/Media Company at the 4th Annual International Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Summit & Trade Show in Miami FL.

July 2017: Interviews and location shooting for THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES in Birmingham AL focusing on the A. G. Gaston Motel, listed in the Green Books and Civil Rights history landmark. Interviews included Civil Rights “Foot Soldier”, Bishop Charles Wallace Woods, author and Gaston historian, Marie  Sutton. Charles Woods III of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, as well as Keith Cromwell, director of the recent production of “The Green Book” by Calvin Alexander Ramsey at the Red Mountain Theatre along with actress, Winter Shepherd.

March, 2017 issue of The Local Palate: Food Culture of the South / “The Color of Safety: Calvin Alexander Ramsey Chronicles the History of the Green Book” by Jessie Howard with photo by Jimmy E. Searles.

February 17-19, 2017: Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s “The Green Book” play presented to nearly sold-out audiences at Red Mountain Theatre, Birmingham AL; Keith Cromwell, Director /

December 2016: Filming in NYC for THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES, including interviews with cultural documentarian, Candacy Taylor, Scholar-in-Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York Public Library), musicologist Dr. Albert Vollmer, leader/founder of the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band, and Smitty’s Service Center in Newark NJ, family-owned by African-Americans since the 1930’s.

July 14, 2016 “Reflections on the Green Book” at the MARCH ON WASHINGTON FILM FESTIVAL, US Navy Museum, Washington DC; Panel included Calvin Alexander Ramsey and screening of new 20:00 Work-in-Progress excerpt from THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES

May 31, 2016: Calvin Ramsey nominated for the NAACP NYCHA Just R.E.A.D. (Recognize Education Achieves Destiny) Literacy Development Endeavor Award for “Ruth and the Green Book”; Ceremony and celebration at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYC July 7, 2016

May 14, 2016: Fundraiser for THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES sponsored by the Len Ragozin Foundation NYC

April 2016: Calvin Ramsey and THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES are featured in an article in SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE by Jacinda Townsend: “How the Green Book Helped African-Americans Navigate a Segregated Nation”

February 12, 2016: THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES received a production grant from the Len Ragozin Foundation NYC

December 3, 2015: Calvin Ramsey interviewed on the WUNC North Carolina Public Radio show, “The State of Things”:

August 7, 2015: NEW YORK TIMES article by Eve M. Kahn featuring THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES: “The ‘Green Book’ Legacy: A Beacon for Black Travelers”

August 6-9, 2015: NYC interviews and location shooting for THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES including the Jacob Lawrence “One Way Ticket” Show at the Museum of Modern Art, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (division of the New York Public Library), and Minton’s Playhouse (the Birthplace of Bebop)

February 18, 2015: Calvin Ramsey presented progress on THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES at the Brooklyn Historical Society

January 18, 2015 (MLK Holiday): Calvin Ramsey reading of “Ruth and the Green Book” and book signing at the New York Historical Society NYC

December 7, 2015: Calvin Ramsey presentation at the Stanford L. Warren Library, Durham NC

July 19, 2015 NEW YORK TIMES Travel Section: Feature article about Calvin Ramsey and the Green Book projects with the online version released 7/14/15

January 21, 2014: Calvin Ramsey presentation at the Edgar Allen Poe Cottage, Bronx NY

January 19, 2014: Calvin Ramsey at the North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh NC “Created Equal: Freedom Riders” film and guest speakers

August 13 – September 2, 2013: USA TODAY Special Edition: March on Washington includes articles about the Green Book and Calvin Ramsey / See complete text in the “USA Special Edition” tab above

September 1, 2013: Calvin Ramsey presentation at the Studio Museum in Harlem NYC “Target Free Sundays: Books and Authors, Kids!”

August 28, 2013: Article about Calvin Ramsey in the WASHINGTON POST

August 26, 2013: Calvin Ramsey presentation at the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), Washington DC honoring Victor Green

June 8, 2013: Calvin Ramsey interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR) show “Travel with Rick Steves” / Archive available at

Summer 2012: Initial interviews filmed for THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Atlanta campus with the goal of making a short film with a mostly student and professor crew from the Animation, TV Producing (Film/Video), Motion Media, and Illustration Departments. Interviews included Curtis Graves, Shirley Henderson Coleman, Gary Kirksey, Dr. Joyce and Wilbert Verrett, Wellington Cox Howard III, and Phillis Holliday.

February 2012: The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta GA world premiere of “Ruth and the Green Book”, a live performance with puppets and animated projections adapted for the stage from Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s children’s book of the same name by Artistic Director, Jon Ludwig, with original music by S. Renee Clark, supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. As a professor of Animation at SCAD Atlanta, Becky Wible Searles took a group of Animation students to see the performance and met Calvin, eventually leading to their collaboration on THE GREEN BOOK CHRONICLES starting in the summer of 2012. (The decision was made to convert the project to a one hour film with a professional crew in 2014.)

August – September 2011: Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s original stage play for adults, “The Green Book”, premiered at Theatrical Outfit, Atlanta GA. This full production was preceded by several staged readings at La MaMa E.T.C. in New York and Baltimore Hebrew University, co-sponsored by the Baltimore Chapter of the NAACP, the Baltimore Jewish Council and the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Civil Rights leader, Julian Bond, was cast in a cameo role as Victor Green when the production moved on to a reading at the restored Lincoln Theater in Washington DC.

June 2004: Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s original play, “The Green Book”, was named a finalist in the 12th Annual Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska where it was critiqued by theatrical luminaries including Edward Albee and Patricia Neal.



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