Children’s Books for Black History Month provide young readers with a better understanding of the African American experience and highlight the bravery, perseverance, and accomplishments of Black individuals.
Through the power of storytelling, these books can help children learn about the struggles and hardships faced by Black Americans, as well as their triumphs and successes.
You can find these books for Black History Month at your local library or purchase through the links provided for your convenience.
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This post contains affiliate links.
Reading About Black History
Children’s books for Black History Month give kids multiple way to understand and learn by combining visual cues with words. The African American experience is one all Americans ought to understand, but parents often just don’t know where to begin.
Rather than shying away from talking about it, introduce the conversation to your children with books for Black History Month. Today, don’t shy away from important books.
There are many talented African American children’s book authors who have made significant contributions to literature. Here are a few notable authors:
Jacqueline Woodson: An award-winning author, Woodson has written numerous books for children and young adults, including “Brown Girl Dreaming” and “Each Kindness.”
Kwame Alexander: Known for his dynamic and engaging writing, Alexander is the author of books like “The Crossover,” which won the Newbery Medal, and “Swing.”
Angela Johnson: Johnson is a versatile author who has written picture books, early readers, and novels for young readers. Her works include “The First Part Last” and “When I Am Old with You.”
Jerry Pinkney: Although primarily an illustrator, Pinkney has also authored several books. He is known for his beautifully illustrated picture books, such as “The Lion & the Mouse.”
Rita Williams-Garcia: A prolific writer, Williams-Garcia has written middle-grade and young adult novels, including the award-winning “One Crazy Summer” trilogy.
Jason Reynolds: Reynolds is a popular author of young adult and middle-grade fiction. His works include “Ghost,” “Long Way Down,” and the “Track” series.
Vashti Harrison: An author and illustrator, Harrison is known for her empowering picture books, including “Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History” and “Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History.”
Sharon M. Draper: Draper is the author of many middle-grade and young adult novels, such as “Out of My Mind” and the “Hazelwood High” trilogy.
Christopher Paul Curtis: Curtis is known for his historical fiction for young readers, including “Bud, Not Buddy” and “The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963.”
Toni Morrison: While primarily known for her novels for adults, Morrison also wrote a children’s book titled “The Big Box.”
These authors have created works that celebrate diversity, address important themes, and provide representation for young readers. Their contributions have enriched children’s literature and continue to inspire readers of all backgrounds.
Langston Hughes was a courageous voice of his time, and his authentic call for equality still rings true today.
Beautiful paintings from Barack Obama illustrator Bryan Collier accompany and reinvent the celebrated lines of the poem “I, Too,” creating a breathtaking reminder to all Americans that we are united despite our differences.
This picture book of Langston Hughes’s celebrated poem, “I, Too, Am America,” is also a Common Core Text Exemplar for Poetry.
In this Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year, Paula Young Shelton, daughter of Civil Rights activist Andrew Young, brings a child’s unique perspective to an important chapter in America’s history.
Paula grew up in the deep south, in a world where whites had and blacks did not.
With an activist father and a community of leaders surrounding her, including Uncle Martin (Martin Luther King), Paula watched and listened to the struggles, eventually joining with her family — and thousands of others — in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery.
The story of one family’s journey north during the Great Migration starts with a little girl in South Carolina who finds a rope under a tree one summer.
She has no idea the rope will become part of her family’s history.
For three generations, that rope is passed down, used for everything from jump rope games to tying suitcases onto a car for the big move north to New York City, and even for a family reunion where that first little girl is now a grandmother.
Based on a transformative experience co-author Michael Bandy had as a boy, this compelling story sheds light on the reality of segregation through a child’s eyes, while showing the powerful awareness that comes from daring to question the way things are.
It’s a scorching hot day, and going into town with Grandma is one of Micheal’s favorite things.
When the bus pulls up, they climb in and pay their fare, get out, walk to the back door, and climb in again.
By the time they arrive in town, Micheal’s throat is as dry as a bone, so he runs to the water fountain. But after a few sips, the warm, rusty water tastes bad.
Why is the kid at the “Whites Only” fountain still drinking? Is his water clear and refreshingly cool?
No matter how much trouble Michael might get into, he’s determined to find out for himself.
Toni Morrison has collected a treasure chest of archival photographs that depict the historical events surrounding school desegregation.
These unforgettable images serve as the inspiration for Ms. Morrison’s text — a fictional account of the dialogue and emotions of the children who lived during the era of “separate but equal” schooling.
Remember is a unique pictorial and narrative journey that introduces children to a watershed period in American history and its relevance to us today.
When Eloise Greenfield was four months old, her family moved from their home in Parmele, North Carolina, to Washington, D.C.
Before Jan Spivey Gilchrist was born, her mother moved from Arkansas and her father moved from Mississippi. Both settled in Chicago, Illinois.
Though none of them knew it at the time, they had all become part of the Great Migration.
In this collection of poems and collage artwork, award winners Eloise Greenfield and Jan Spivey Gilchrist gracefully depict the experiences of families like their own, who found the courage to leave their homes behind during The Great Migration and make new lives for themselves elsewhere.
There’s a place in this 1950s southern town where all are welcome, no matter what their skin color…and ‘Tricia Ann knows exactly how to get there.
To her, it’s someplace special and she’s bursting to go by herself. When her grandmother sees that she’s ready to take such a big step, ‘Tricia Ann hurries to catch the bus heading downtown.
Unlike the white passengers, she must sit in the back behind the Jim Crow sign and wonder why life’s so unfair.
Still, for each hurtful sign seen and painful comment heard, there’s a friend around the corner reminding ‘Tricia Ann that she’s not alone. And even her grandmother’s words — “You are somedbody, a human being — no better, no worse than anybody else in this world” — echo in her head, lifting her spirits and pushing her forward.
A remarkable and much-needed collection for the youngest lovers of poetry, Entrance Place of Wonders: Poems of the Harlem Renaissance features poems from the leaders of this cultural movement (1917-1935), such as Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Claude McKay, and James Weldon Johnson, as well as many newly discovered writers.
These celebratory, life-affirming works will inspire children, parents, and educators while paying homage to one of the most exciting and significant times in American history.