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Irving Museum Green Book Forum to Include Opal Lee

Opal Lee, whose efforts led to the creation of Juneteenth as a federal holiday, is participating in a Green Book panel discussion Nov. 6 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the Irving Archives and Museum.

The forum is part of the museum’s recent installation of the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” and the Irving Black Arts Council’s “The Local Green Book.” Both exhibits run through Jan. 8, 2023.

Retired Fort Worth judge L. Clifford Davis, a former attorney for the Fort Worth Chapter of the NAACP, is also scheduled to participate. Other panelists are Imogene W. Rogers of Bear Creek and Irving, Gloria O. Sights of Bear Creek, Irving and Dallas, and Mary Ann Turner Blackmon of Dallas and Lake Dallas. A question and answer session will follow.

Admission to panel discussion will be free. Seating is first come, first served. After the forum, attendees who registered prior to the start of the program can share original artifacts or relics from the Jim Crow era.

“We are thrilled to have the Irving Black Arts Council as a key community partner,” Irving Archives and Museum Director Jennifer Landry said. “With their hard work and commitment, we were able to create a locally-focused component to the exhibition.”

The Smithsonian exhibit offers an immersive look at the reality of travel for Blacks in mid-century America and how the guide, first published in 1936, served as an indispensable resource for the nation’s rising African American middle class. An original “Green Book,” photographs, business equipment, signs and postcards are among items.

Museum hours for the run of Green Book are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with tickets costing $7 for adults and $5 for ages 4-12 and over-65. Sunday hours are noon to 4 p.m., and admission is free. The second Saturday of each month is also free.

“This important exhibition explores the challenges and prejudices that Black Americans faced while navigating travel in the mid-twentieth century,” Landry said. “The Green Book and the Black community created ways for people to travel safely and with dignity and the successful businesses that blossomed during the era.”

Presented by Dallas Morning News