February is Black History Month and it is important – now more than ever – to help your kids understand what Black history is really about, and why equality and Civil Rights are so important in today’s society. One great way to help your kids learn is to encourage them to read books that are relevant to Black history and related topics.
8 Black History Month Books For Kids of All Ages
Below, we offer some suggestions for 8 Black History-related books that kids of all ages can enjoy.
1. The Story of Ruby Bridges
The events surrounding Ruby Bridges’ life are real, and The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Cole is a child-friendly way to discuss segregation in schools in the 1960s. The story and discussion in the book are a great way to show children how far society has come, and how far we still need to go.
2. The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist
The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson is a true story about a child who gets arrested for marching for Civil Rights. Audrey was only nine years old when her story happened, which can be incredibly powerful for kids her age who want to make a difference in the world.
3. Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation
Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh is a great story that has received rave reviews from parents and young readers. The book is a story about the 1947 desegregation of Orange County, CA public schools. The story teaches kids that different skin colors and ethnicities do not mean unequal. It also encourages standing up for equality, no matter the race or ethnicity.
4. Let the Children March
This book is wonderfully illustrated, which will appeal to many young readers. Written by Monica Clark-Robinson, Let the Children March is the story of brave children marching in Birmingham, Alabama after being inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a book that teaches Black history but also instills a sense of courage and understanding about Civil Rights and equality.
5. Juneteenth for Mazie
Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper is a wonderful story that helps children understand Juneteenth and the day that marks the end of slavery in the United States. It is the story of Mazie, a Black young girl celebrating the anniversary of the end of slavery – the day her ancestors were freed.
6. Resist: 40 Profiles of Ordinary People Who Rose Up Against Tyranny and Injustice
Resist is a book more appropriate for older kids and teenagers. Written by Veronica Chambers, it is a story of 40 individuals who have resisted tyranny and injustice by protesting and other means. It has 40 important lessons of how standing up for equality and justice can make a difference – in the past, and in the future.
7. My Hair is a Garden
My Hair is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera is a lovely book about a Black young girl who faces challenges because of her hair. Her hair is different and she learns how to feel comfortable with herself and her natural hair.
8. Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice
Woke by Mahogany L. Browne is a collection of poems written to inspire children. Each poem focuses on important lessons for kids and encourages kids to be aware and “woke” as they become the next generation of activists.
The 8 books we list above are appropriate for kids of all ages. They are true and fictional accounts of Black history and how our history has impacted today and will impact the future. Engaging young readers in history and discussion is an important part of learning, and these books are a great place to start.