Black History 101: Children's Books Perfect for Learning Black History All Year Long
Updated: May 31
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links
Black History Month takes place in the month of February, but learning Black history is a year-round activity. One of the best ways to learn Black history is with books. We've rounded up ten books that each contain multiple stories of Black people, culture, and events in history. These books are perfect for learning Black history all year long. Happy reading!
A comprehensive, entertaining look at heroes, heroines, and critical moments from African American history -- from the slave trade to the Black Lives Matter movement -- by award-winning author Jabari Asim.
Jabari Asim goes beyond what's taught in the classroom to reveal a fact-filled history of African American history through politics, activism, sports, entertainment, music, and much more. You'll follow the road to freedom beginning with the slave trade and the middle passage through the abolitionist movement and the Civil War where many African Americans fought as soldiers. You'll learn how slave songs often contained hidden messages and how a 15-year-old Jamaican-born young man named Clive Campbell helped to create hip-hop in the early 1970's.
You'll experience the passionate speeches, marches, and movements of the Civil Rights era along with and the sacrifices of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, and many others. Along the way there are dozens of profiles of political trailblazers like Shirley Chisholm, the first black women elected to Congress in 1968; dominants athletes like Tiger Woods who, in 1995, was only the second African American to play in a Master's Golf Tournament which he went on to win in 1997; popular musicians like Miles Davis, one the most influential artists of the twentieth century; and inspiring writers like Toni Morrison, the first African American to win the Nobel Prize in literature.
Filled with beautiful illustrations by Lynn Gaines that bring these figures and events to life, plus a removable historical timeline poster, A Child's Introduction to African American History is a fascinating and comprehensive guide to this often overlooked yet immensely important part of American history.
FIND IT HERE: BOOKSHOP
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic, edited by award-winning journalist Lilly Workneh with a foreword by #BlackGirlMagic originator CaShawn Thompson, is dedicated to amplifying and celebrating the stories of Black women and girls from around the world; features the work of over 60 Black female and non-binary authors, illustrators, and editors; is designed to acknowledge, applaud, and amplify the incredible stories of Black women and girls from the past and present; and celebrates Black Girl Magic around the world.
Amongst the women featured from over 30 countries are tennis player Naomi Osaka, astronaut Jeanette Epps, author Toni Morrison, filmmaker Ava DuVernay; aviator Bessie Coleman, Empress Taytu Betul, journalist Ida B. Wells, and many other inspiring leaders, champions, innovators, and creators. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic is the fourth volume of the New York Times bestselling Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series which originally launched in 2016.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic is published by Rebel Girls, a global, multi-platform empowerment brand dedicated to helping raise the most inspired and confident global generation of girls through content, experiences, products, and community.
About Black Girl Magic
CaShawn Thompson, a proud third-generation native of Washington, DC, came up with the concept "Black Girls Are Magic" when she was a little girl growing up with her mother, grandmother, and aunts. It sprang forth fully formed from the mind of a poor little Black girl who didn't yet have the words to describe the brilliance she saw in the women in her family, but had heard countless tales of fairies, witches, and magicians. It was just magic to her. And it still is.
Black Girls Are Magic became wildly popular in 2013 after CaShawn began using the phrase online (it was later shortened to the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic) to uplift and praise the accomplishments, beauty, and other amazing qualities of Black women.
FIND IT HERE: BOOKSHOP
Erased. Ignored. Hidden. Lost. Underappreciated. No longer. Delve into the unique, inspiring, and world-changing history of Black people.
Black leaders, writers, civil rights activists, scientists, and more have influenced, inspired, and changed the societies we live in. This history book's pages are filled with the stories of these historical giants and their contributions to the world.
Grow Your Understanding of Black History
This children's book, prefaced by Mireille Harper, introduces children to prominent Black people in history such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, and Dr. Martin Luther King. The timelines have been individually commissioned, with the stunning visual designs reflecting the essence of that particular historical person.
This visual reflection from DK Books will compel children to investigate further and understand world history and the important roles Black people played in shaping it:
- Features an equal number of timelines about women and men
- Explores the amazing stories of incredible figures often ignored by European-focused history
- Covers key moments in European, Caribbean, North American and African history, taking readers from pre-colonial Africa through the Jim Crow Era and the Civil Rights Movement to today's Black Lives Matter movement
- Created, designed, written, and edited by a multicultural team from many different nations, heritages, communities, faiths, and no faiths
From Mansa Musa to Barack Obama; learn about more than 100 Black leaders and historical individuals and discover the 30 timelines from throughout world history in this compelling children's Black history book. Learn about Lewis Latimer and his integral contributions to the lightbulb, of how Ethiopia avoided colonization thanks to its brave queen, and many more important moments in world and Black history.
Pages of visual representations take children, adolescents, and adults on a trip through history. Stacked with facts and visually vibrant, Timelines from Black History: Leaders, Legacies, Legends is an unforgettable and accessible hive of information on the people and the issues that have shaped Black history.
FIND IT HERE: BOOKSHOP
Meet the little leaders. They're brave. They're bold. They changed the world.
Featuring 40 trailblazing black women in the world's history, this book educates and inspires as it relates true stories of women who broke boundaries and exceeded all expectations.
Debut author/illustrator Vashti Harrison pairs captivating text with stunning illustrations as she tells the stories of both iconic and lesser-known female figures of black history, including:
Nurse Mary Seacole
Politician Diane Abbott
Mathematician Katherine Johnson
Singer Shirley Bassey
Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models and everyday women who did extraordinary things.
FIND IT HERE: BOOKSHOP