33 Children’s Books about Race and Black History


Black Lives Matter and our kids’ bookshelves should reflect that. Here are 33 excellent books to add to your home library that highlight race and black history.

As parents, it is our job to teach our kids how to combat the US cycle of slavery, racism, and white privilege with the young minds we are forming at home. We can change the world and our hearts by starting within the walls of our home. We must take action instead of letting our or our children’s minds fall into the system that is broken and allows for white privilege to manifest. When we educate ourselves on black history and race, we are actively combatting racism. It is not something accidental or something we stumble upon— but actively pursue.

Reading about race with our children is one way to intentionally and purposefully take steps to shift perspective and build awareness and understanding.

This list is compiled by our contributors and friends. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is a wonderful start!

  1. Little Leaders, Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
  2. I am Enough by Grace Byers
  3. We’re Different, We’re the Same by Sesame Street
  4. A Kids Book About Racism by Jenali Memory
  5. Parker Looks Up by Parker and Jessica Curry (DC mom and child)
  6. One Love by Cedelia Marley
  7. A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
  8. Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
  9. Through my Eyes by Ruby Bridges
  10. One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes
  11. Simone Visits the Museum by Dr. Kelsi Bracmort
  12. Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
  13. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kelly (teen and young adult book)
  14. The Night is Yours by Abdul-Razak Zachariah
  15. An Apple for Harriet Tubman by Glennette Tilley Turner
  16. My Daddy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Martin Luther King, III
  17. The Skin I’m In by Pat Thomas
  18. M Is for Melanin: A Celebration of the Black Child by Tiffany Rose
  19. Not my idea: A Book About Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham
  20. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  21. Let the Circle be Unbroken by Mildred D Taylor
  22. So Tall Within: Sojourner Truth’s Long Walk Toward Freedom by Gary Schmidt
  23. Mirandy and Brother Wind by Patrick McKissack and Jerry Pinkney
  24. Cornrows by Camille Yarbrough
  25. The Dream Keeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes
  26. One-Hundred-and-One African American Read Aloud Stories by Susan Kantor
  27. Little People Big Dreams: Maya Angelou by Lisbeth Kaiser
  28. I am Human: A Book of Empathy by Susan Verde 
  29. Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson
  30. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams- Garcia
  31. Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up To Become Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz
  32. The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael Lopez
  33. Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

What books are you reading with your children about race and black history? Please share additional titles readers should check out in the comments.

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Featured image from @maggiemizelle.

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Courtney was born and raised in Louisiana where she met her husband (married in 2005). Since then they have moved several times, but finally feel very settled in NW DC after moving back a little over two years ago. She has four energetic kids: Cormac (2010), Evangeline (2013), and Solomon (2016), and Antoinette (2019). She thinks motherhood is absolutely wonderful, but she is constantly challenged and stretched in ways she couldn't have imagined. She spends her days talking Star Wars, legos, playing dress-up, and chasing her toddler. We all know motherhood is challenging so she wanted to band together with other mothers to start this site to inspire, learn, and grow together. She loves morning coffee, chocolate, chatting with people since she's an extrovert, a clean house (which is rare these days). She dislikes when her kids don't listen the first time, she abhors littering, and doesn't enjoy shopping.