The Inspiring True Story Behind the Oscar-Winning Film Green Book

The movie Green Book tells a true story. It is about Dr. Don Shirley and Tony Vallelonga.

Dr. Shirley was a black pianist. Tony was a white bouncer. The story happens in the 1960s in the South. At this time, there was racial segregation against blacks.

Dr. Shirley went on a concert tour in the South. Tony went with him to protect him. This was dangerous due to racism against blacks.

At first, Dr. Shirley and Tony were very different. But on the tour they became good friends.

Tony respected Dr. Shirley’s bravery when facing racism. Dr. Shirley appreciated Tony’s kindness under his toughness. Their friendship showed people can connect across differences.

Green Book is praised for showing this inspiring true story. It deals with important topics like discrimination, tolerance, and human bonds. The movie shows caring for each other can overcome prejudice.

Green book like movies remind us how even during divisive times, the better angels of our nature can prevail.

Dr. Don Shirley was a very talented pianist and musician. He lived in a fancy apartment above Carnegie Hall in New York City. He was highly educated and refined. People knew him because he combined classical baroque music with jazz and pop. In 1962, he decided to go on a concert tour in the Deep South. There, black people faced a lot of unfair treatment and racism.

Dr. Shirley’s company hired Tony “Tony Lip” Vallelonga to protect him. Tony Lip was a tough guy from the Bronx. He worked at the famous Copacabana club. He became Dr. Shirley’s driver and bodyguard. Tony Lip was street-smart but not refined. His views on race were like most white Americans at that time.

At first, Tony and Dr. Shirley didn’t seem to have much in common. But during their two-month road trip, they became friends. They got past their differences and saw each other as fellow human beings. Tony learned to admire Dr. Shirley’s talent and dignity despite the racism. Dr. Shirley understood more about Tony’s life as a working-class family man.

The most powerful moments happen in the South. There, Dr. Shirley faced terrible prejudice because he was black. He wasn’t allowed to eat or stay in certain places. People said mean and racist things to him. But he stayed calm and poised. When hateful people vandalized Dr. Shirley’s car with paint, Tony stood up for him. He comforted Dr. Shirley during this awful attack.

The movie’s most powerful moments happen in the South, where Dr. Shirley faces terrible prejudice. He’s not allowed to eat or stay in certain places just because he’s black. People say mean and racist things to him. Despite all this, he stays calm and composed. When some hateful people vandalize Dr. Shirley’s car with paint, Tony stands up for him and comforts him during this awful attack.

The catalyst for their deepening bond is music itself. We see Tony gradually overcome his initial bewilderment at Shirley’s refined music to develop a true appreciation for the artistry. And Shirley opens up about his conflicted feelings on popular culture and jazz. 

Green Book won three Academy Awards in 2019, including Best Picture. The film reminds us that even during intolerant times, humanity and decency can win. This happens when we open our hearts to understand others. Though set long ago, its message is important today. There is renewed racial division in America now.

Green Book is about embracing our shared dignity as humans while facing injustice with compassion. Tony and Shirley began very different from each other. They were separated by how they grew up, education, and race. But they chose to see each other’s humanity. By listening and learning, they formed a treasured friendship. Their friendship was against the cruel barriers of their time. The movie shows the power of human connection. In highlighting the friendship between two disparate individuals, Green Book carries an uplifting message that still deeply resonates today. More movie like green book are needed to remind us that we have more in common than that which divides us.

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