Fredericksburg, Virginia, February 5, 2024 – The Fredericksburg NAACP has partnered with Central Rappahannock Regional Library and Fredericksburg City Schools to purchase 887 copies of the book Rachel’s Dream to be distributed to Fredericksburg City Schools students. Copies will be distributed to Hugh Mercer Elementary School’s fourth and fifth grades, Lafayette Elementary School’s fourth and fifth grades, Walker-Grant Middle School’s sixth grade, and the James Farmer Scholars Program’s seventh and eighth grades.

Rachel’s Dream: A Young Girl’s Quest for True Freedom is a juvenile novel written by local historian Ruth Coder Fitzgerald and is based on her extensive research on African American history in the greater Fredericksburg region. Its manuscript was discovered in a Colonial Beach antique shop and handed to then library Virginiana Room manager Nancy Moore.

Familiar with the manuscript’s significance, and with support from the library, Nancy obtained publishing permission from Fitzgerald’s daughter, Rebecca Lipscomb. The Rachel’s Dream publishing project, a five-year collaboration, was funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region. Rachel’s Dream was edited by local author Steve Watkins and copy-edited by Linda Billard, and features an introduction written by Dr. Marceline Catlett, Fredericksburg City Schools’ Superintendent, and original cover art by former James Monroe High School art teacher Phillip Carter.