Reviews for Hurry Freedom : African Americans in Gold Rush California
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2001 Spring
Mifflin Wistar Gibbs's life story anchors this narrative. His experience of emigrating to California to seek wealth and opportunity parallels that of many African Americans and opens a fascinating window on the African-American experience in gold-rush San Francisco. This smoothly written history allows readers to examine a collective experience ignored in most historical accounts of this period. Archival photos illustrate the text. Bib., ind. Copyright 2001 Horn Book Guide Reviews
School Library Journal Reviews 2001 January
Gr 6-8-More than just a look at life in Gold Rush California, Stanley's brief, fascinating account provides a microcosmic look at the early African-American experience that will most likely have a profound effect on readers. Lured by possible riches and most importantly, opportunity, blacks migrated to California.Unfortunately, the arduous journey across the Oregon and Gila Trails did not affect their position in society. Despite an overwhelmingly racist atmosphere, a few African Americans managed to eke out livings and prevail against injustice. Stanley draws upon the personal experiences of two little-known figures, Mifflin Gibbs and Peter Lester, to exemplify the experience. This narrative choice lends the book a biographical feel rendering it highly readable. Both Gibbs and Lester ultimately succeeded through extremely hard work; as prosperous businessmen they used their shop as a station on the Underground Railroad and furtively lobbied to pass bills that would improve black Californians' lives. Good-quality, archival photos fill the pages. Some of them portray blacks and whites working side by side, others exemplify the time and culture discussed throughout the book. As the title suggests, the focus remains on African Americans, yet Stanley does note that Asian Americans and other minority groups also endured mistreatment at this time. A fine addition.-Laura Glaser, Euless Junior High School, TX Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.