February is Black History Month. It began in 1962 as “National Negro Week” in hopes of raising awareness of black people’s contributions to the world. The celebration later expanded to a full month in 1976 by President Gerald R. Ford. He wanted Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Although I am a huge proponent of always having diverse and inclusive reading material available to my kids, I’ve compiled a list of great books to read during Black History Month (and all year!).
10 Children’s Books for Black History Month
Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison
This is one of my favorites. Not only are the illustrations absolutely adorable, but it is super informational as well.
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
My personal favorite of all. I love reading this one with my daughter. Vashti Harrison beautifully tells short stories of multiple phenomenal black women in history.
I am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer
Each of Brad’s books tells the story of an American icon. He has others such as I am Harriet Tubman, I am Martin Luther King Jr., and I am Jackie Robinson.
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
This story is about having the talent to be what you desire to be no matter your gender or race or ethnicity. It’s an empowering book and a huge confidence booster.
If You Were a Kid During the Civil Rights Movement by Gwendolyn Hooks
This story follows along with two girls who find themselves in the middle of a civil rights demonstration. They learn how the fight for equality changed the country forever.
The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko
This is the story about Mildred Loving and Richard Perry Loving and their struggle with being able to be married because it was an interracial marriage. Their bravery allowed them to fight the unfair law and win in the Supreme Court.
Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama
Not only is it awesome to read a children’s book from America’s first black President, but the book itself is also an amazing tribute to President Obama’s daughters about celebrating your uniqueness and characteristics that unite us all.
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
This is another amazingly illustrated book. It’s about the inspiring four black female mathematicians at NASA and how they overcame racial and gender barriers.
The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
This story follows the courageous Ruby Bridges as she attends an all-white school as a six-year old and is faced with segregationists.
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pickney
This story is about four college students who staged a peaceful protest while sitting in a “whites only” section at a restaurant.
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