‘Green Book’ Golden Globe Nominations and the Dunbar Hotel
Gayle Anderson was live in South Los Angeles at the Dunbar Village, formerly the Dunbar Hotel, to tell the story of the historic property’s connection to the Golden Globe Nominated movie “GREEN BOOK.”
According to the Los Angeles Conservancy, built as the Hotel Somerville, the Dunbar Hotel played a key role in L.A.’s African American community for decades. Doctor John Somerville built the hotel for the first West Coast convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1928. The hotel provided first-class accommodations for African Americans in segregated Los Angeles, who were denied comparable lodging elsewhere.
The hotel was a great source of pride, having been financed and built by African Americans. An instant landmark, it was considered the finest black hotel in the nation—and quickly sparked the area’s development.
The Dunbar was an important gathering place for notable figures, intellectuals, and community leaders. At the heart of the Central Avenue jazz scene, many prominent jazz musicians stayed or performed there, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Bessie Smith. Other notable guests included Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Hern Jefferies, Langston Hughes, Joe Louis, Arthur B. Spingarn, and W. E. B. Du Bois.
The Dunbar Hotel is now the Dunbar Village, a 83-unit, affordable housing community located in the heart of Los Angeles' historic Central Avenue jazz scene.
The movie is inspired on the true story of the publication the NEGRO MOTORIST GREEN BOOK, which was published from 1937 to 1966. It was an essential document for any Black individual traveling throughout the country. The book, which was created by mail carrier Victor Hugo Green, detailed the restaurants, stores, beauty shops, hotels, and private "tourist homes" (in the case of small towns that had no hotels available to Black people) that were welcoming to Black travelers. Green Books also helped travelers avoid "sundown towns," which had laws prohibiting Black people from being on the road at night. By carrying a Green Book, Black travelers were able to avoid embarrassment and danger.
To learn more about the “Green Book”, take a look at the website.
The movie “GREEN BOOK” has received five Golden Globe nominations.
The Golden Globe Awards are Sunday, January 6th, 2019 on NBC.
If you have questions, please feel free to email Gayle Anderson at Gayle.Anderson@KTLA.com or call Gayle at 1 (323) 460-5732.