It’s never too early to start teaching our children about the realities of racism in our country and world. Here are some books to get started.
Heart and Soul: The story of America and African Americans, by Kadir Nelson – The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. In Heart and Soul, Kadir Nelson’s stirring paintings and words grace 100-plus pages of a gorgeous picture book—a beautiful gift for readers of all ages, a treasure to share across generations at home or in the classroom.
Sulwe, by Lupita Nyong’o (author) and Vashti Harrison (illustrator) – This Coretta Scott King award-winning picture book is about self-esteem and beauty within. It’s a whimsical and heartwarming story about a little girl who learns to embrace her unique self.
Hair Love, by Matthew A. Cherry (author) and Vashti Harrison (illustrator) – This sweet story is about a little girl with beautiful hair. When her dad has to help style it for a special occasion, he has a lot to learn, but is ready for the challenge since he loves his daughter so much.
Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad, by Ellen Levine (author) and Kadir Nelson (illustrator) – A dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom by a Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist.
Juneteenth, by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Drew Nelson – Tells the dramatic story of the slaves being freed in Texas, finally, on June 19th, 1865; two and a half years after Lincoln’s historic Emancipation Proclamation. For children 6 – 12.
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, by Vashti Harrison – In this book you’ll find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things – bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come.
Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington, by Jabari Asim (author) and Bryan Collier (illustrator) – Award-winning artist Bryan Collier captures the hardship and the spirit of one of the most inspiring figures in American history, bringing to life Booker T. Washington’s journey to learn, to read, and to realize a dream.
Rosa, by Mikki Giovanni (author) and Bryan Collier (illustrator) – Fifty years after her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus, Mrs. Rosa Parks is still one of the most important figures in the American civil rights movement. This picture-book tribute to Mrs. Parks is a celebration of her courageous action and the events that followed.
New Kid, by Jerry Craft – This graphic novel is a Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Book Award winner. It tells the story of an African American boy from Washington Heights who transfers to a private, predominantly white middle school in seventh grade.
Piecing Me Together, by Renee Watson – A powerful young adult novel about a girl striving for success in a world that too often seems like it’s trying to break her.