Over 50 Marvelous Children's Books by Black Authors or Illustrators
Updated: Jan 10
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This article was first published in February 2018. The information here is still relevant and valuable. Scroll down to see the children's books by Black authors and visit our bookshop because we have added MANY MANY more books by Black authors to the collection.
Have you heard of the Reading Blackout challenge by Booktuber Denise D. Cooper? She challenged herself to only read books by Black authors for a year. We decided to accept the challenge and read children’s books written by Black authors or illustrators for Black History Month. Here's a great article about the challenge from BookRiot.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT:
As of 2017, still only 28 percent of children’s/YA books published each year represent people of color, and when fewer still portray marginalized experiences. We need to change that!
It's important to have #ownvoices stories. #Ownvoices is a term that describes a book that has been written by a member of the marginalized community that it depicts. Authors of color wrote only six percent of all children’s literature published in 2016, according to the latest data from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center.
There are TONS of talented Black authors who write, and they need the opportunity to tell their own stories. That's why we have created this list of children's books written by African Americans as a starting point resource for the Reading Blackout. This list includes picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and even a few young adult titles. Many of these authors have several books, be sure to Google them for info on their other books.
Visit our Online Bookshop links to find these books and more.
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WHO IS CARTER G. WOODSON?
In 1915, Mr. Woodson and friends established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. A year later, the Journal of Negro History, began quarterly publication. In 1926, Woodson proposed and launched the annual February observance of Negro History Week, which became Black History Month in 1976. It is said that he chose February for the observance because February 12th was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and February 14th was the accepted birthday of Frederick Douglass. Learn more here
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