Black History Month: What We’re Reading

One of my students asked me, Why do we have to have a Black History Month? This could be a loaded question, but I responded to him as a student. I told him that back when COVID was at its height, we kept hearing reminders to give people space, take our vitamins, and wash our hands. Of course, these are all things that we should always be doing. The problem was that at the time, we were in a health deficit. And in order to make up for the deficit, we needed those reminders.

In the same way, that’s why we have Black History Month.

Collection of books for Black History MonthHistory has its place. But we were (and arguably still are) at a deficit in our knowledge of the impact that African Americans have. So in order to overcome this deficit and celebrate the impacts that continue to make our nation grow– we celebrate Black History Month. There is no easier way to share our thoughts and experiences than through books.

Originally Black History month was a time for students to showcase their knowledge attained from the year. To continue this tradition I am sharing the knowledge authors have shared to honor and share Black Voices– which are a part of American History.

Picture Books:

All Because You Matter by Tami Charles

I am Enough by Grace Byers

Just Like Your Daddy by Tiffany Parker

The ABC’s of Black History by Rio Cortez and  Lauren Semmer

You Came from Greatness:: A Celebration of Black History by Sarah Chinakwe

Opal Lee and What it Means to Be Free by Alica Faye Duncan

That is My Dream! by Langston Hughes & Daniel Miyares {a picture book of Langston Hughes’ “Dream Variation,” illustrated by Daniel Miyares}

William Still and His Freedom Stories:: The Father of the Underground Railroad by Don Tate

Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton

Computer Decoder:: Dorothy Vaughan by Anthony Diehn

Hidden Figures:: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

A Weed is a Flower::The Life of George Washington Carver by Aliki

Longer Picture Books::

GLORY:: Magical Visions of Black Beauty by Kahran Bethencourt

Black History Biographies:: Inspiring People Who Changed the World  by Rockridge Press

Stand Up, Stand Out! 25 Rebel Heroes Who Stood Up for Their Beliefs–And How They Can Inspire You by Kay Woodward

If You Were a Kid During the Civil Rights Movement by Gwendolyn Hooks

I am John Lewis by  John Meltzer 

YA Novels and Chapter Books::

Too Small Tola by Atinuke

This is My America by Kim Johnson

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi

Victory Stand:: Raising My Fist for Justice  by Tommie Smith

The Port Chicago 50:: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights  by Steve Sheinkin

Mary McLeod Bethune by Malu Halasa

Who Was George Washington Carver? by Jim Gigliotti

Who Was Frederick Douglass? by April Jones Prince

Who Was Booker T. Washington? by James Buckley, Jr.

kids reading Black History Month booksAlthough my son, is in elementary and I work with middle schoolers, I know that there are students in all age groups that could benefit from a book list curated to share important figures and voices in Black History. What are you reading for Black History Month?

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