#ReadingBlackout: Over 50 Marvelous Children's Books by Black Authors or Illustrators
Updated: Feb 1, 2021
Have you you heard of the #ReadingBlackout 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 people of color 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 #ReadingBlackout. This list includes picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and even a few young adult titles. We'll continue to add to this list as we discover more books, so check back often. Many of these authors have several books, be sure to Google them for info on their other books.
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WHO IS CARTER G. WOODSON?: Carter G. Woodson (The Father of Black History) was Born to former slaves in 1875 in New Canton, Virginia, Woodson had a passion for education. Between supporting his family through farming and mining, he was largely self-taught. He began high school at age 20 and graduated less than two years later. Woodson then earned a master's degree from the University of Chicago and became the second African-American to earn a doctorate from Harvard University. He went on to write more than a dozen books on African-American history.
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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