Harriet Tubman, A Woman of Courage by the editors of Time for Kids; with Renee Skelton. (Grades 3-5)
Tubman’s courage began as a teenager and inspired generations of Americans to stand up for equal rights and their convictions.
This is the Dream by Diane Z. Shore and Jessica Alexander; illustrated by James Ransome. (Grades K-3)
The story of the Civil Rights Movement unfolds through vibrant illustrations and succinct verse.
The Great Migration: Journey to the North by Eloise Greenfield; illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. (Grades K-8)
This beautifully illustrated book describes the period of the 20th century when many African Americans left the South to make better lives for themselves in the northern states.
Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges; articles and interviews compiled and edited by Margo Lundell. (Grades 6-8)
Ruby Bridges recounts her involvement in the integration of her school in New Orleans in 1960.
Grandmama's Pride by Becky Birtha. (Grades K-2)
On her visit to grandma's house in the south, Sarah Marie feels the sting of segregation, but in later years she notes the changes that have come about.
When Grandmama Sings by Margaree King Mitchell; illustrated by James E. Ransome.
An eight-year-old girl accompanies her grandmother on a singing tour of the segregated South, both of them knowing that Grandmama's songs have the power to bring people together.
Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin A. Ramsey; illustrated by Floyd Cooper. (Grades 2-4)
Ruth travels with her family from Chicago to Alabama using the “Green Book” as a guide for places that will serve African Americans along their travels.
The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis. (Grades 4-8)
In a spin-off to “Bud, Not Buddy” we get to know Deza Malone who lives in Gary, Indiana during the Great Depression. A gifted student, Deza has a strong sense of self despite hard times with poverty and racial segregation.
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine. (Grades 5-8)
In 1958 painfully shy Marlee sees the divisions caused by school integration in her family and home town of Little Rock, AR. Her new friend Liz helps her find courage and stand up against racism.
Fire in the Streets by Kekla Magoon. (Grades 6-9)
Maxie longs to join the Black Panthers in the aftermath of Dr. King's assassination in 1968, despite what family and friends may like it. She soon is caught up in the violence of anti-war and civil rights demonstrations.
Play Ball, Jackie! Stephen Krensky; illustrations by Joe Morse. (Grades 2-4)
A young boy and his father watch a Brooklyn Dodgers game on April 15, 1947, witnessing Jackie Robinson become the first black man to play in Major League baseball.
A Nation's Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis by Matt De La Pẽna; illustrated by Kadir Nelson. (Grades 3-5)
Shortly before WWII, Joe Louis fights Germany's Max Schmeling. The match showed the international tension between their two countries and a triumph over racial barriers.
Bird in a Box by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illustrations by Sean Qualls. (Grades 4-7)
Set in New York City in 1936, the lives of three children living at the Mercy Home for Negro Orphans intertwine with Joe Louis’ boxing matches.
King of the Mound: My Summer with Satchel Paige by Wes Tooke. (Grades 4-7)
After fighting polio for a year, Nick refuses to let a leg brace stop him from taking a job with a minor league baseball team and witnessing Satchel Paige pitch during the 1935 season.
African Americans in the Arts
I, Too, Am America by Langston Hughes; illustrated by Bryan Collier. (Grades K-5)
This beautifully illustrated edition of Hughes’s poem features the African American Pullman Porters of the early twentieth century.
Harlem's Little Blackbird by Renée Watson; pictures by Christian Robinson. (Grades K-3)
Florence Mills, a child of former slaves, endured firsthand bigotry, but with determination became a loved singer/dancer.
Jazz Age Josephine by Jonah Winter; illustrated by Marjorie Priceman. (Grades 2-6)
This is a tribute to the iconic jazz entertainer who overcame racial barriers to become an iconic performer.
Roots and Blues: A Celebration by Arnold Adoff; paintings by R. Gregory Christie.
This volume of beautiful, lyrical poems and prose show the impact of blues music on everyday life throughout history.
Remember the Bridge: Poems of a People by Carole Boston Weatherford, designed by Semadar Megged. (Grades 4+)
With photographs and twenty-nine poems, readers can learn about African American’s efforts to overcome oppression throughout history.
Zora!: The Life of Zora Neal Hurston by Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Brindell Fradin.
Examine the life of Hurston in this tribute to the life and achievements of the civil rights activist and acclaimed author.
Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America by Andrea Davis Pinkney; paintings by Brian Pinkney. (Grades 5-8)
Learn the stories of 10 African-American men from different eras in American history, organized chronologically from slavery to the modern day.
The African American Experience by Sandy Donovan. (Grades 7-9)
Donovan describes various African Americans and their contributions to American society, including artists, writers, sports stars, musicians, and political leaders.
Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage written by William Loren Katz. (Grades 7-9)
The author traces the ancestry of these biracial societies using records kept from around North America.
African American History for Teens
Contemporary Achievements by Rebecca Szulhan. (Grades 4+)
Important events of contemporary African Americans are discussed with detailed text, historic photos, and sidebars.
A Dream of Freedom: The Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1968 by Diane McWhorter: foreword by Fred Shuttlesworth. (Grades 5+)
In this history of the modern Civil Rights Movement, the author focuses on the monumental events that occurred between 1954, the year of Brown v. the Board of Education, and 1968, the year that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.