The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby
By Crystal Hubbard
Illustrated by Robert McGuire
Born into an African American sharecropping family in 1880s Kentucky, Jimmy Winkfield grew up loving horses. The large, powerful animals inspired little Jimmy to think big. Looking beyond his family’s farm, he longed for a life riding on action-packed racetracks around the world.
Like his hero, the great Isaac Murphy, Jimmy “Wink” Winkfield would stop at nothing to make it as a jockey. Though his path to success was wrought with obstacles both on the track and off, Wink faced each challenge with passion and a steadfast spirit. Along the way he carved out a lasting legacy as one of history’s finest horsemen and the last African American ever to win the Kentucky Derby.
The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby brings to life a vivacious hero from a little-known chapter of American sports history. Readers are transported trackside to witness the heart-pounding story of a vibrant young man chasing down his dream.
Check out educator lesson plan and activities for The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby, a title featured in RIF’s Multicultural Book Collections. To find other free activities that inspire young readers as well as learn more about Reading Is Fundamental, visit us at RIF.org.
About the Creators
is a sports buff and full-time writer. Her children’s books have received honors such as Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Books of the Year and ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project. Hubbard lives in Missouri with her husband and their four children.
is a full-time illustrator with a degree in fine arts whose work reflects a love of diverse cultures. He and his wife live in Japan. For more information, visit robertmcguire.com.