Hurry Freedom: African Americans in Gold Rush California

Finalist, National Book Awards 2000 for Young People's Literature

Jerry Stanley – Hurry Freedom book cover
ISBN 9780517800942
Crown Books for Young Readers
Jerry Stanley author photo
Jerry Stanley

Jerry Stanley is the author of several highly praised books for young readers, including Children of the Dust Bowl, winner of the Orbis Pictus Award; I Am an American, an ALA Notable Book; and Hurry Freedom, a National Book Award nominee and winner of the Orbis Pictus Award. More about this author >

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Here for the first time in a book for young readers is the story of the African American forty-niners who went west to seek fortunes and freedom in the California Gold Rush.

Among the thousands drawn west by the California Gold Rush were many African Americans. Some were free men and women in search of opportunity; others were slaves brought from the slave states of the South. Some found freedom and wealth in the gold fields and growing cities of California, but all faced the deeply entrenched prejudices of the era.

To tell this story “Hurry Freedom!” focuses on the life of Mifflin Gibbs, who arrived in San Francisco in 1850 and established a successful boot and shoe business. But Gibbs’s story is more than one of business and personal success: With other African American San Franciscans, he led a campaign to obtain equal legal and civil rights for Blacks in California.

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