9 Image Books to Rejoice Black Historical past Month
February marks the start of Black History Month, a time to celebrate African American contributions to the country and reflect on the ongoing struggle for racial justice. Since you’re never too young to learn and celebrate black history, we’ve compiled a list of nine picture books that kids and families must read to celebrate black history, culture, and identity.
28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World by Charles R. Smith
Make every day of Black History Month a special celebration! This book introduces a different influential figure in African American history every day, from Crispus Attucks, the first man to be shot in the Boston massacre that started the War of Independence, to Madame CJ Walker, the richest after years of hardship black woman in history became the country as well as one of the richest black Americans in Barack Obama, the country’s first African American president.
The ABC of the black history of Rio Cortez
Letter by letter, The ABCs of Black History celebrates a story spanning continents and centuries, triumph and heartbreak, creativity and joy. It’s a story of great ideas – P stands for power, S stands for science and soul. From significant moments – G stands for great migration. From cult figures – H stands for Zora Neale Hurston, X stands for Malcom X. It’s an ABC book like no other and a story of hope and love.
Anti-racist baby from Ibram X. Kendi
From the National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be a Antiracist comes a picture book that empowers parents and children to uproot racism in our society and in our own prejudices in their daily lives.
Firebird by Misty Copeland
Misty Copeland (American ballet dancer) tells in her debut picture book the story of a young girl, every girl whose self-confidence is fragile and who questions her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty builds this young girl’s confidence in herself and shows her exactly how through hard work and dedication she too can become a Firebird.
I’m enough of Grace Byers
This beautiful, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another comes from Empire actress and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo. We’re all here for a reason. We are more than enough. We just have to believe it.
Little Leaders: Brave Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
An essential book for all ages, Little Leaders tells and inspires true stories of forty groundbreaking black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring both iconic and lesser-known female characters from black history to life, such as the abolitionist Sojourner Truth, the pilot Bessie Coleman, the chemist Alice Ball, the politician Shirley Chisholm, the mathematician Katherine Johnson, the poet Maya Angelou and the filmmaker Julie Dash. Readers find heroes, role models, and everyday women who have done extraordinary things.
Martin’s big words from Doreen Rappaport
This picture book biography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brings his life and the depth of his message to young children through his own words. Author Doreen Rappaport uses quotations from some of his most popular speeches to tell the story of his life and work in a simple, direct way.
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o wrote a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem and learning that true beauty comes from within. Sulwe’s skin color is midnight. She is darker than anyone in her family. She is darker than anyone else in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey into the night sky opens your eyes and changes everything. During this whimsical and heartwarming story, kids are inspired to see their own unique beauty.
We march by Shane W. Evans
On August 28, 1963, a remarkable event took place – more than 250,000 people gathered in the capital of our country to take part in the March on Washington for Work and Freedom. The march began at the Washington Monument and ended with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech and advocated for racial harmony. The thrill of the day comes to life for even the youngest reader.
Support black writers and black-owned companies
Consider purchasing the above books from one of the many black-owned booksellers in the United States