Black History Month is a time to celebrate and reflect on the contributions, struggles, and achievements of African Americans throughout history. Reading books about black history is an excellent way for children to learn about this important aspect of American history, culture, and society. Here are 15 books that kids should read during Black History Month.
"Rosa" by Nikki Giovanni - A picture book about the life and legacy of Rosa Parks, a civil rights icon and the mother of the modern-day civil rights movement.
"Martin's Big Words" by Doreen Rappaport - A picture book that introduces young readers to Martin Luther King Jr., his words, and his message of peace and equality.
"The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights" by Russell Freedman - A biography of the iconic opera singer Marian Anderson and her role in the fight for equal rights.
"Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans" by Kadir Nelson - A comprehensive and beautifully illustrated book that covers 500 years of African American history and culture.
"Hidden Figures" by Margot Lee Shetterly - A true story about the black female mathematicians who helped send the first American into space and how they broke down racial and gender barriers.
"The Color of Us" by Karen Katz - A picture book that teaches young readers about diversity, skin color, and the beauty of our differences.
"The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist" by Cynthia Levinson - A biography about the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest and her role in the Civil Rights Movement.
"Black is a Rainbow Color" by Angela Joy - A picture book that explores the beauty and meaning of black, and how it represents strength, pride, and history.
"Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad" by Ann Petry - A biography of Harriet Tubman, a former slave who escaped to freedom and helped hundreds of other slaves escape through the Underground Railroad.
"Brown Girl Dreaming" by Jacqueline Woodson - A coming-of-age story about Woodson's childhood, growing up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s exploring the experiences of black people during a time of great change in the United States.
"I Am Enough" by Grace Byers - A picture book that encourages self-acceptance and empowerment, and celebrates diversity and uniqueness.
"The Great Migration" by Jacob Lawrence - A series of paintings and accompanying text that tell the story of the Great Migration, when millions of African Americans moved from the South to the North between 1916 and 1970.
"Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X" by Ilyasah Shabazz - A biography of Malcolm X, one of the most influential black leaders of the 20th century, and his journey from a troubled childhood to a powerful voice for change.
"Sing a Song: How “Lift Every Voice and Sing” Became the Black National Anthem" by Kelly Starling Lyons - A picture book that introduces young readers to the history and significance of the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the Black National Anthem.
"The Other Side" by Jacqueline Woodson - A novel that explores the complexities of segregation and racism through the eyes of two girls, one black and one white, who live on opposite sides of a fence in a small southern town.
These books provide a rich and varied introduction to African American history and culture. They are a great way for children to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges, triumphs, and experiences of black Americans. Reading about these stories and perspectives can foster empathy, critical thinking, and a greater appreciation for diversity and cultural heritage.