Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.  -MLKJ

February was my favorite month as a grade schooler, Black History Month or African American History Month.  I loved learning Black History.  The underground railroad stories were my favorites.  I loved hearing about all of the brave individuals who escaped from slavery and made a better life for themselves. As a child, it made me feel like good always wins.   Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about dreaming of white children holding hands with black children and I had black classmates and friends.    So it felt good to be on the right side of history.    Now that I’m older and more cynical, I know that there is more to be done.  The documentary 13th had me in tears, but in order to do better – we must know better.

These are some of our picks for Black History Month reading.  You don’t have to buy the books, most local libraries have many awesome Black History Books for Children on display this month.  Our local librarian loved showing us some of the beautiful books for educating the little historians.

 

 

 


A Kid’s Guide to African American History: More than 70 Activities (A Kid’s Guide series) Paperback –  by Nancy I. Sanders   Recommended for ages 5-9   My daughter is a moody reader, some days she likes to read alone and other days she likes engagement.  This book is an engaging activity book about so many of our Black American heroes.    It starts in Africa and ends with a hopeful future.  

African American Legends for Little Learners (Volume 1)  –  by Marlena Nkene    Recommended for ages 3-7.  The illustrations are adorable in this book and children really like them.  I love that along with the illustrations are real photographs.  The balance between female and male legends was refreshing.   I’m excited for book two.  

 

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls – by Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo  Recommended for all ages.  This book is about extraordinary women of all colors, but it includes so many wonderful black women that I had to add it to my list.  From new heroes like Alek Wek, Fadumo Dayib, and  Misty Copeland to well known kick-ass women like Serena and Venus Williams, Harriet Tubman and Michelle Obama;  this book is full of inspiration for your rebel girl and her little brothers.  This book was also the most successful crowdfunded book of all time.  

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. by Doreen Rappaport  Recommended for young learners.   This is a picture book with some of Mr. King’s most famous quotes.  I’m a fan of inspirational wonderful quotes, so I enjoy reading this over and over to the boys.   And you can’t do a list of Black History Books, even a short one like this without a great book about Martin Luther King Jr.  

What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors – by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Recommended ages 7-11.  This was a library find.  Honestly,  I would have skipped right over it if I hadn’t noticed that it was a science book written by a basketball player.   It’s a brilliant book about so many relatively unknown black American inventors as they made influential contributions.  My daughter is a scientist and she particularly enjoyed this read.  

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – MLKJ

Piper and I have a late night movie date scheduled to go see Hidden Figures, I’m excited and I love space movies!    I keep meaning to sit down and do a Black History Month Playlist with Miles Davis and Etta James, and maybe some Hendrix and B.B. King.   I’ll post it when I finish it.

What are you doing for Black History Month with your kids?

 

Related – 50 Picture Books Starring Black Mighty Girls

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