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February is Black History Month. How often do you read children books featuring prominent figures in African American History, or black characters?
I remember growing up in rural GA and learning to recite poetry written by famous African-American poets. My classmates and I lined-up in the gym and listened to Dr. E.E. Sykes, Jr recite Langston Hughes’ poem “I, Too” for the first time.
I had never heard a man, a black man, speak so eloquently. I was intrigued by each word. Now, I had no idea what the poem was about, but I knew it was important. Why? Because he told us. He gave us a lesson on the meaning of that poem. Dr. Sykes provided, from what I remember, my first Black History Lesson.
I also remember my music class where we listened and sang songs about unity like, “The World is a Rainbow.” Man, that song was the jam.
Anyway, I had teachers, administrators, and community members who wanted us to learn and know our history.
Today, my kids do not have that experience. Most of the information that they get about our culture comes from my husband and I.
How does your school address Black History?
I try to find books that feature black and brown girls and boys for them to read. Today I share a list of 14 books that you can add to your reading list.
You can find these books at your local library/bookstore or purchase the books through the affiliate links that I have provided for your convenience.
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
If You Were A Kid During the Civil Rights Movement
If A Bus Could Talk
Henry’s Freedom Box
I Am Enough
What Color is My World?
Mae Among the Stars
I Too Am America
Black Pioneers of Science and Invention
A Kids Guide to African American History
The Youngest Marcher
Salt in His Shoes