Children’s Books to Read for Black History Month

Black History Month really isn’t just a month, but a lifetime of legacy from some of the greatest African Americans- who left a huge impact on our society today.

Unfortunately, many schools are not honoring Black History Month, and don’t teach black history to students.

That’s why it has to be our duty as parents, to teach our kids about African American history.

One of the easiest ways we can do this is by finding Children’s books to read for Black History Month.

We can/should read these type of books to our children year-round and not just in February, but just in case you don’t, you will have a list to choose from for Black History Month.

I’ve put together a list of must-read children’s books for Black History Month to make it easy for you!

This list of children’s books for Black History Month doesn’t only contain African Americans that have impacted American history, but also books to encourage our children to embrace who they are as unique individuals.

Must-Read Children’s Books for Black History Month

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A Child’s Introduction to African American History: The Experiences, People, and Events That Shaped Our Country – By Jabari Asim

This book introduces children to African American History by explaining different events that took place, and the people who helped pave the way for us to walk in freedom today.

Black Women in Science: A Black History Book for Kids – By PhD Kimberly Brown Pellum

This book highlights fifteen amazingly brave women, who left a huge impact through STEM.

These woman beat the odds by leaving an unbelievable legacy, despite the racial hardships they faced.

Black Pioneers of Science and Invention – By Louis Haber

This amazing book will teach your child about fourteen African American inventors who played a huge role in  Science and industrial progression.

I Have A Dream – By Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

One of the most famous legends of all times – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., wrote this book to express his dream of freedom from racial segregation to the world.

This book comes with the audio CD of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

I have the privilege of owning this book and my husband and I, have read this book to our children many times.

Learning about the life and legacy of Dr. King never gets old!

I am Rosa Parks (Ordinary People Change the World) – By Brad Meltzer

This children’s picture-book story, tells about Rosa Parks’ bravery to not give up her seat on a public transportation bus.

By doing so, she hugely impacted the world by ending public bus transportation segregation.

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

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to have our children attend a segregated school?

Don’t have time to read this entire post? Click below to download the printable book list now!

Well in this story, your child will discover what it was like to attend a school where students had to be separated by the color of their skin.

They will learn what it was like to fight for equality as you read this children’s story about the civil rights movement.

Harriet Tubman (Little People, BIG DREAMS) – By Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Harriet Tubman is one of the greatest influential women of all time!

This book tells children the story of how Harriet risked her life to become free from slavery, and save others as well.

Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X – By Ilyasah Shabazz

The author of this book Ilyasah Shabazz, is Malcolm X’s 3rd daughter, and she tells the story of Malcolm’s childhood.

His childhood name was Malcolm Little and he and his family faced many struggles on their way to freedom.

Despite Malcolm having a hard upbringing, his determination to see justice and freedom, made him one of the most influential leaders of all time.

Mae Among the Stars – By Roda Ahmed

This children’s story is about Dr. Mae Jemison-who is the first female black astronaut.

Dr. Jemison was also the first female African American woman to be accepted into NASA’s astronaut training program.

This book tells the story of Mae as a little girl who had big dreams to dance in space one day.

Despite the odds against her for being a black female, her dreams came true!

It’s an inspiring story that will encourage our children to become anything they desire to be.

Dad, Who Will I Be? – By G. Todd Taylor

Dad, Who Will I Be, is a book that is dedicated to helping boys value dads as role models – who encourages them to become whatever they put their minds to.

This children’s book highlights men role models who have impacted the world from the influence they had in their careers.

A Girl Named Misty: The True Story of Misty Copeland – By Kelly Starling Lyons

This book tells children the story of Misty Copeland – a ballet dancer who made history by becoming the first African American female Principal Dancer for the American Ballet Theater on June 15, 2015.

The American Ballet Theater is one of the top three ballet organizations in the United States.

What an accomplishment Misty made by overcoming the obstacles that she faced to make American history.

I will definitely be purchasing this book for my kids!

Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions – By Chris Barton

In this book, kids will learn about Lonnie Johnson, an inventor who was the first African American to create the super soaker water gun.

Although Lonnie invented such a popular water toy, he was rejected by many before the super soaker actually became successful.

This children’s book will share his story and teach kids how to persevere no matter the struggles they may face.  

Children’s Books to Read for Black History Month

Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen? – By Sherri L. Smith

The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of brave African American men who greatly contributed to the United States winning World War II.

Despite the segregation that occurred in the military, the Tuskegee Airmen were able to make history by becoming the first black military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps.

Children will certainly be inspired as they hear about these men who made black history, and their great accomplishments as military pilots.

Want the printable version of this list? Click below to download now!

When God Made You – By Matthew Paul Turner

Although this children’s book is not a black history based story, I included it in this list because it’s such a positive story that teaches kids their worth in God’s sight.

It’s such a blessing to have children’s books that show our kids how they are uniquely created by God.

This book is known for it’s vibrant pictures and fun rhymes.

I AM… Positive Affirmations for Brown Boys – By Ayesha Rodriguez

Have our children say affirmations are one of the best ways to teach them who they are, and what they can become. This children’s book focuses on positive affirmations for brown boys – to build their self confidence. 

Skin Like Mine – By LaTashia M. Perry

Skin Like Mine is a children’s book that focuses on diversity. It uniquely teaches kids to accept others whether they’re the same skin color or not.

With such a judgmental society, this book is perfect for helping our children understand the importance of being different, and embracing diversity. 

Let the Children March – By Monica-Clark Robinson

This amazing book tells the story of African American children who marched for freedom in place of their parents in 1963,  during the protest in Birmingham Alabama.

They were determined to be heard for their civil rights and their families, and made change by their bravery to speak out.

Reading this book to our children will give them the courage to speak up whenever something isn’t right.

Who Is Barack Obama? (Who Was?) – By Roberta Edwards

Some children have experienced President Barack Obama become the first African American President in 2008.

But for the children who haven’t, this book will give them an biography of his life.

The Story Of Ruby Bridges: Special Anniversary Edition – By Robert Coles

If you don’t know the story of Ruby Bridges, she was the first African American child that stopped segregation at an all-white school in New Orleans.

This book tells Ruby Bridges story of moving to a new state with her family to find freedom while still facing many obstacles. 

I am Jackie Robinson (Ordinary People Change the World) – By Brad Meltzer

Jackie Robinson was the first African American in the 20th century to play major league baseball.

This picture book shows children how Jackie was extremely athletically talented, but despite his talents, he was still rejected because he was black.

In order to change American history, Jackie had to have perseverance to become the first black baseball player in the major leagues.

I Am Enough – By Grace Byers

I Am Enough, is a New York Times bestseller book for young readers to embrace who they are as an individual.

This book focuses on encouraging young girls to love themselves for who they are and respect others in the same complicity. I’m excited to get this one!

I AM… Positive Affirmations for Brown Girls – Alyesha Rodriguez

With so many girls feeling pressured to look a certain way or do things a certain way because of the color of their skin, It’s important we teach our daughters that they are perfect just the way they are.

This book focuses on positive affirmations for girls of color – to encourage them to love themselves exactly how they are, and build their confidence in who they are. 

All About Madam C. J. Walker – By A’Lelia Bundles

This book tells the story of Madam C.J. Walker and how she became the first black woman millionaire – by successfully launching the first line of African American hair products.

Her story will motivate and encourage young girls to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams regardless of what may be against them.

There are so many amazing books out there that we can utilize to teach our children about black history, but unfortunately I can’t fit them all on this article.

I do plan to keep adding to this list of books so if you have any suggestions, please pop them in the comments below!

My hope with writing this article is that you see this as an opportunity to make learning about black history apart of Your family. This will ensure your children are educated on the brave people who paved the way for them to walk in freedom today.

I hope you found some black history books that you can read to/with your child!

Don’t forget to download your FREE list of Children’s Books to read for Black History!

Want the printable version of this list? Click below to download now!

Do you have a favorite black history book or book that encourages our children to love who they are? Please share in the comments below!

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    1. Hi Paris! Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad you found this post helpful. I bet your son will enjoy whichever black history books you decide to purchase.

  1. What an amazing list! I took my 8 year old to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and they had lots of these in their gift shop. The Indianapolis Children’s museum has an amazing Ruby Bridges exhibit that is easy for kids to understand. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Maggie! Wow, that is so awesome! My kids are still a bit too young for museums and I know they won’t be interested for long without complaining LOL. I’m excited for them to experience this type of history through the lens of a museum. I’m glad you found this list of black history books helpful!

  2. Thank you for this timely post. I am passing your list to my adult children for my grandchildren and will also disseminate it to the young people in my church. This history is OUR history. It is American history and it must be shared.

    1. Hi Calvoina, wow, what an honor. Thank you so much for passing this children’s book list along to those you know will be impacted. I was excited to write this post, and I’m glad I finished it in time fro Black History Month. I learned so much just from reading about the books and ordered a few to read to my kids. This is certainly American History, and I hope one day it won’t have to be labeled as “black history”, but American History.

  3. These are great! Thanks for the suggestions. I want to have a day this month where I talk about it with my kiddos to some capacity but don’t really know where to start.

    1. Hi Jen! I’m glad this was helpful for you. One of the easiest ways to start teaching black history is by reading picture books that tell the story. Since most children are so visual, this will give them a better understanding of what’s taking place. I’m sure your kiddos will enjoy learning more about this with you.

  4. This is a huge list of books, and I’m so excited to dive into them with my sons! It’s so sad that black history has been condensed to only a month of the year… black history is American history and should be taught and represented all year long. And as a teacher who taught in predominantly minority schools, it is SO important for children to see themselves represented in history and on tv/in movies in a positive way. I hope these books help children of all races and ethnicities learn how our differences can strengthen us and can lead us into a better society in the future.

    1. Hi Dawn! You are so right! My hope is that one day a law will be passed for schools to incorporate black history into their curriculum as American History. So many children will benefit from seeing how many things African Americans have done to pave the way for them to live in freedom.

      I’m so glad you plan to read many of these with your sons. I’m sure they well enjoy them! Thank you for your comment!!

    1. Hi Brittany,
      I’m so glad you have several of these Black History books! I still have a lot more to purchase, but I’m excited about the ones we do have.

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