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Based on an unpublished memoir, this poignant story tells what it was like to be a Black child born free during the days of slavery. Everyday experiences are interspersed with notable moments, such as a visit to the first world’s fair held in the United States. Also included are the Draft Riots of 1863, during which Maritcha, her siblings, and her mom fled Manhattan. Father stayed behind. The book concludes with her fight to attend a whites-only high school in Providence, Rhode Island, and her victory of being the first Black graduate.
The evocative text, photographs, and archival material make this book an invaluable cultural and historical resource. Maritcha brings to life the story of a very ordinary—yet remarkable—girl of nineteenth-century America.