50 years ago on December 1st, 1958, one of Alaska’s greatest civil rights heroes passed away in a little known Christian Science care facility in Seattle. Just as she had prepared herself to fight for equality for Alaska Natives, Elizabeth had steeled herself for a different battle, but this one she could not win. Roy Jr., her eldest son, lived in Seattle at the time and visited his mother every day, witnessing her increasing frailty. Though she grew terribly thin and suffered greatly, Elizabeth asked Roy Jr. not to tell his father how sick she was. Roy Peratrovich Sr., Elizabeth’s husband and teammate in the battle for passage of the nation’s first anti-discrimination bill, was in Juneau working and watching over their youngest, Lori, who was about to graduate from high school.
Elizabeth didn’t want her husband to worry, and she wanted him to remember her not as a patient, but as the strong partner she had always been.
The true story of this iconic Alaska Native civil rights hero is told in a soon to be released book published by Snowy Owl Books, an imprint of the University of Alaska Press. Author Annie Boochever collaborated with 84-year-old Roy Peratrovich Jr., the only living child of Elizabeth Peratrovich, to provide details never before revealed about his mother. Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich will be released on January 15. You may pre-order your copy from the University of Chicago Press at press.uchicago.edu/…tributed/F/bo38235872 or from Amazon.