February Is Black History Month

Get ready for Black History Month! Alvin Coffey is the ideal book to highlight black history in California.

As 4th grade students study the Gold Rush, they learn about the prospectors who came seeking gold in the rivers and streams of our Golden State. Too often the image presented is a white prospector. But men came from every country and every race and ethnicity on the face of the earth.

There were men (and some women) from Mexico, Central America, Chile and Peru. They came from Australia and the isles of the sea. They came from every European country and from China and Japan.

Black miners came as both enslaved and free. Free blacks from the Northern States came looking for gold, but also for freedom from prejudice and greater opportunities.

Enslaved men from the South, like Alvin Coffey, had the choice made for them by those who claimed to own them as property. But Alvin knew it was an opportunity to earn his freedom and freedom for his wife and children. It must have been galling for Alvin to labor to make another man rich. But he persisted, hoping that the money he earned on his own time would buy him a better life.

My book is is deeply researched, historically accurate, and visually appealing, with full color illustrations on every page by Steve Ferchaud.

You may not think a picture book is for you, but you can buy one for a school library, a 4th or 5th grade teacher, or a grandchild or young friend. It’s an exciting story with an inspiring message.

Books are available from the Association for Northern California Historical Research (ANCHR), from Amazon, or directly from me. Just send me an email at goldfieldsbooksca@gmail.com.

I’d love to hear from you!

I am also available to do presentations to schools and groups. I love talking to kids, and I am pretty good with adults too. Contact me to visit your class or organization.

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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