After working at jobs from bookkeeper to singer in New York City, Virginia Hamilton returned
to Yellow Springs, the town in southern Ohio where she had grown up. Yellow Springs was an
important stop on the Underground Railroad, for which her great-grandmother was probably a
conductor. Family stories of slavery and escape to freedom fascinated Hamilton, and in her
many books for young people she explores both historical and contemporary African-American
experiences. In 1975 Hamilton became the first African American author to win the Newbery Medal.