Fighter in Velvet Gloves
Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich
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In 1945, Peratrovich stood before the Alaska Territorial Legislative Session and gave a powerful speech about her childhood and her experiences being treated as a second-class citizen. Her heartfelt testimony led to the passing of the landmark Alaska Anti-Discrimination Act, America’s first civil rights legislation. Today, Alaska celebrates Elizabeth Peratrovich Day every February 16, and she will be honored on the gold one-dollar coin in 2020.
Annie Boochever worked with Elizabeth’s eldest son, Roy Peratrovich Jr., to bring Elizabeth’s story to life in the first book written for young teens on this remarkable Alaska Native woman.
Praise For Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich…
“I highly recommend Fighter in Velvet Gloves. Some readers will be uncomfortable to read about the racism directed at Alaska Native people. Accounts like these mess with the idea that this country is exceptional, that it is (or was) ‘great.’ These accounts have received very little attention in children's or young adult literature—but they're very important. Change is possible, but only when problems are identified and made visible.”
— Debbie Reese
Best Books of 2019
“An important contribution. . . . This is a book that should be placed in the required curriculum of all Alaska schoolchildren. More importantly, it’s one that should be read by adults. Anyone who peruses online comments on Alaska news sites or who follows state news stories knows that racism is still being directed towards Alaska Natives. The problem persists and Elizabeth Peratrovich’s work remains incomplete. It’s up to us to continue the job. Fighter in Velvet Gloves explains why.”
— Anchorage Daily News
— 53 Great Reads About Great Places
2020 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
— National Council for the Social Studies and the Children’s Book Council
2020 Feminist Book Project List
University of Alaska Press, 9781602233706, 80pp.
Publication Date: February 16, 2019