Learning about Black history is, of course, not intended to be confined to just the month of February, but it does provide us an opportunity to shine some extra light on the accomplishments, struggles, sacrifices, thoughts, and work of Black individuals throughout history.
Our hope in offering you these book recommendations is that they help to spark further exploration into research about the noteworthy people and events mentioned within them! Furthermore, we hope that this learning journey will extend past these 28 days and become woven into your yearlong and lifelong learning.
You don't need to know everything or be an expert in the area of Black history in order to teach your children about it. You can learn together. In fact, some of the deepest learning happens when an adult and a child learn together.
We hope you'll check out these books:
Description from Amazon.com: Letter by letter, The ABCs of Black History celebrates a story that spans continents and centuries, triumph and heartbreak, creativity and joy. It’s a story of big ideas––P is for Power, S is for Science and Soul. Of significant moments––G is for Great Migration. Of iconic figures––H is for Zora Neale Hurston, X is for Malcom X. It’s an ABC book like no other, and a story of hope and love.
We have this book at our house and have found ourselves coming back to it over and over again when the people and topics within come up in other books! It's a great resource and I highly recommend having a copy at your house as well!
by Jason Reynolds and illustrated by Jerome Pumphrey and Jarrett Pumphrey
Description from Amazon.com: Back in the day, there was a heckuva party, a jam, for a word-making man. The King of Letters. Langston Hughes. His ABCs became drums, bumping jumping thumping like a heart the size of the whole country. They sent some people yelling and others, his word-children, to write their own glory.
Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, and more came be-bopping to recite poems at their hero’s feet at that heckuva party at the Schomberg Library, dancing boom da boom, stepping and stomping, all in praise and love for Langston, world-mending word man. Oh, yeah, there was hoopla in Harlem, for its Renaissance man. A party for Langston.
This Caldecott medal winning book was enthusiastically recommended by our Oakland County, Michigan specialist, Kelly Brooks!
by Ibram X. Kendi and illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky
Description from Amazon.com: Take your first steps with Antiracist Baby! Or rather, follow Antiracist Baby's nine easy steps for building a more equitable world.
With bold art and thoughtful yet playful text, Antiracist Baby introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism. Providing the language necessary to begin critical conversations at the earliest age, Antiracist Baby is the perfect gift for readers of all ages dedicated to forming a just society.
Featured in its own episode in the Netflix original show Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices, Good Morning America, NPR's Morning Edition, CBS This Morning, and more!
This awesome book is another one that we have in our personal collection and is one that all three of my children (who are 3, 7, and 11 years old) are able to gain value from and read together.
by Editors of Silver Dolphin Books
Description from Amazon.com: My First Heroes: Black History tells the stories of four incredible Black heroes: Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, and Serena Williams. Learn about their unique activism and achievements—from changing laws to breaking records—and how their bravery changed the course of history. With adorable illustrations, important facts, and push, pull, and slide elements, this book will delight and educate preschoolers and parents alike.
This book suggestion came from our New Lenox, Illinois specialist, Kristina Davis! She says it is great for a first introduction into the topic for toddlers and preschoolers!
by Roda Ahmed and illustrated by Stasia Burrington
Description from Amazon.com: When Little Mae was a child, she dreamed of dancing in space. She imagined herself surrounded by billions of stars, floating, gliding, and discovering. She wanted to be an astronaut. Her mom told her, "If you believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible.” Little Mae’s curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents' encouraging words, paved the way for her incredible success at NASA as the first African American woman to travel in space.
This recommendation comes from our Monroe County, NY specialist, Jocelyn Semple. She says her children enjoyed reading this book, and then they watched a video and did a project to tie it all in!
Thank you for taking the time to delve into this important subject matter with us.
Drop your Black History month book recommendations below!