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Black Heroes of the Wild West

58 pages
5 ½" by 8 ½"

Cloth - $12.95
ISBN 0-940880-25-3
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Paper - $6.95
ISBN 0-940880-26-1
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Curriculum Guide - $5.00
ISBN 0-940880-55-5
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Black Heroes of the Wild West

by Ruth Pelz
Illustrated by Leandro Della Piana

Part of the Contributions Series, books documenting the contributions to our country's history of African-Americans, women, and other people under-represented in most writings in the area. Workbooks are available for classroom or personal use. Written at a 4th to 6th grade reading level, these titles are also ideal for adult new readers.

This beautifully illustrated book helps correct the mistaken idea that there was no African-American presence on the frontier. Blacks settled in North America before the arrival of the Mayflower. Estevan came with Spanish explorers in 1527 and explored the southwest; Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable founded Chicago; Mary Fields was a legend in Montana; Jim Beckwourth discovered a pass through the Rocky Mountains; Biddy Mason took her master to court in California to gain her freedom. Their stories are joined by those of George Washington Bush, Clara Brown, Mifflin Gibbs, and Bill Pickett, to make a total of nine little-known frontier tales of adventure, courage, tenacity, and discovery.

Ruth Pelz has a longstanding interest in uncovering the hidden histories of women and working people as well as ethnic and racial groups in our society. She is the writer of many published books, inlcuding two titles from Open Hand's Contributions Series: Women of the Wild West and Black Heroes of the Wild West. She has learned from personal experience that history is meaningful only if we see ourselves as taking part in it. She lives in Seattle, where she is an education planner at the University of Washington's Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Leandro Della Piana began his career as a freelance artist apprenticing in the creation of public scupture in his native city of Boston. As a teacher his commitment is to motivate young people to explore and understand cultural diversity.

Complementary Book for Education


Fascinating portraits. The stories, inspirational and entertaining for readers of all races, give deserved recognition to some lesser known inhabitants of the Old West.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer

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