Jonathan Burgess is an active reparations committee participant. His new children’s book tells the story of an ancestor who came to California as a slave and escaped from a plantation. His ancestor – Rufus Burgess – came to California in enslavement and was able to gain his freedom. He went on to own property in Northern and Central California, which is now a state park. Throughout the process of researching the historical facts, Burgess interviewed historians and looked into different forms of literature to tell the story. In hopes of uncovering Black creativity and hidden histories, he is also hoping to make a difference with his new children’s book.
In the book, Jonathan traces the history of his great-great-grandfather Rufus M. Burgess. His ancestor was an enslaved African in Kentucky. After escaping, he remained in Kentucky where he worked as a rancher. After his freedom, he spent time in the field, eventually accumulating enough gold to purchase land and build a home.
Jonathan’s great-great-grandfather, Rufus M. Burgess, owned much of the land in Coloma. His father, Rufus M. Burgess Sr, came to California with his former enslaver in 1851 and became a wealthy landowner. After his freedom, he went to work. He managed to build enough gold to buy a farm and become a local hero.
While the history of enslavement in Coloma is complex and contradictory, Burgess’s work is necessary to understand the impact that slavery had on the community. Despite the historical facts, California is still struggling to live up to its ideal of equal opportunity. Nonetheless, his new children’s book is a step in the right direction.
Jonathan is the author of a children’s book that tells the story of his ancestor. During the Gold Rush, his great-grandfather owned much of the town’s land. After his freedom, he worked hard and earned enough gold to buy a farm. He and his father did not stop working. His family was a major landowner in Coloma, where he lived with his former enslaver.
The book is not just an interesting book for children. Its subject is the history of enslavement. It’s important for kids to understand that the past affects all of us today. Therefore, Jonathan’s ancestor was enslaved in Kentucky. However, after he was freed, his father traveled to Coloma in 1851 with him. Once he became free, he worked hard and eventually made enough gold to buy a farm.