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Black History Month Books

When I was in school, I don't remember any of my teachers specifically teaching about Black History Month. They very well could have taught about it, and introduced books about the Civil Rights Movement, but I just don't remember it. What I do remember is what my mother taught me, and what she taught her students, and the books we had at home that we read together at night as a family, and the books she encouraged me to read in Jr. High and High School. My point is that whether your child is back to school in person, or is still going virtually, I believe what you teach and read to them at home is paramount. If we speak love, tolerance and equality to our families, neighbors, friends and in our communities, those values will take root in our children's hearts as well. They are watching and listening, my sweet friends. Especially when they are little, our words and actions have the power to shape their worldview...for better for for worse.

The books I've chosen are for anytime (obviously), but I've chosen to compile this list for Black History Month (February) because so many of them offer insight into a specific time in our nation's history. We must continue to talk to our children about our past. How did we get here and what hardships were faced to make America a better place? If they don't learn history, both the good and the bad, how will they ever know how to generate change? My favorite quote from poet Maya Angelou speaks volumes. She says, "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." Let's help them know better and do better. They are the future, after all.

Picture Books

This book is recommended for 8+, and is an anthology of sorts that chronicles the challenges and contributions of African American's throughout history.

Chapter Books (Upper Elementary)

Chapter Books (Middle and High School)

Nightjohn by Gary Paulson (An accurate portrayal of the treatment of slaves.)

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson (The 1st in a Trilogy)

Calling My Name by Liara Tamani (Coming of age story for girls...recommend for 11-12th grade)

Black Boy by Richard Wright (A Memoir, Jim Crow Era Events)

I would love to hear some of your families favorite books on this topic. Did I leave one out that I should add? I'm always looking to increase our library, and welcome any and all suggestions!

Bonus: Movies (Check Ratings for Age Recommendation)

Ruby Bridges (Disney+)

Hidden Figures (Disney+ and Hulu)

March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World (Amazon)

Hairspray (Amazon)

A Raisin in the Sun (Amazon)

Selma (Hulu or Amazon)

Remember the Titans (Disney+ and Amazon)

The Help (Netflix)

42 (Netflix)

The Great Debaters (Amazon)

Harriet (Hulu and HBO Max)

Sounder (Amazon)

The Color Purple (HBO Max, Vudu and Amazon)

Driving Miss Daisy (Hulu, Stars, Amazon)

The Butler (Netflix)

Fences (Hulu)

A Ballerina's Tale (Amazon)

The Secret Life of Bees (Cinemax and Amazon)

Akeelah and the Bee (Hulu and HBO Max)

To Kill a Mockingbird (Amazon)

**Most of the books can be found at your local library, but if you purchase any of them using the links provided, I will receive a small compensation from Amazon.**



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