Robert G. Shaw Memorial recognizing Civil War bravery of U.S. 54th all-black Regiment. (Boston, Ma.)
Robert G. Shaw Memorial recognizing Civil War bravery of U.S. 54th all-black Regiment. (Boston, Ma.)
Whether it's February or July, the Beene/Bean family celebrates Black History Month throughout the year. This page offers a few books for school age children that provide some insight into the various perspectives of the African-American experience.  As you may know, everyone's story is unique, and everyone shares their story uniquely. The books listed below are a mix of fiction and non-fiction titles based on historic persons, places or events.  Some titles will be familiar but others you may not recognize, but we hope that you will become familiar with the lesser known gems that may not have made it to your child's classroom reading lists.

Also provided are links to resources from museums, archives, libraries and colleges & universities who have digitized parts of their collections for the history-loving individuals to view online. Feel free to share the recommended resources to discuss with other members of your family and friends to add to the conversation of our history.

More than Anything Else by Marie Bradby
White Socks Only by Evelyn Coleman
Rosa by Nikki Giovanni
Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson
Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
One Million Men and Me by Kelly S. Lyons
Black Cowboy, Wild Horses by Julius Lester
Change Has Come by Kadir Nelson
Satchel Paige by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
Only Passing Through by Anne Rockwell
Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship & Freedom by Tim Tingle
The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights by Carole B. Weatherford

GRADES 3 to 5th
Through my Eyes by Ruby Bridges
Duke Ellington: His Life in Stephanie Stein Crease
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson

Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
Heart & Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson
Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Baraka Obama
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down by Andrea Pinkney
When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson by Pam Munoz Ryan
Black Frontiers: A History of African American Heros in the Old West by Lilian Schlissel
Ben and the Emmancipation Proclamation by Pat Sherman

Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali by Charles R. Smith Jr.

GRADES 6 to 8th
They Called Themselves the KKK: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Marichta: A Nineteenth Century American Girl  by Tonya Bolden
Black Canary by Jane Louis Curry
The Watsons Go To Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
A Wish After Midnight by Zeta Elliott
Black and White Airmen: Their True History by John Fleischman
Freedom Rides: Journey for Justice by James Haskins
Slavery and the Making of America by James Oliver Horton
The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon

Black Hands, White Sails by Patricia and Fred McKissack
I, Dred Scott by Sheila Moses
47 by Walter Mosley
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Noose
Marching For Freedom: Walk Together Elisabeth Partridge
All of the Above by Shelley Pearsall
Let it Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters by Andrea Pinkney
Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
Lest We Velma Maia Thomas

GRADES 9 to 12th
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the M.T. Anderson
Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Marc Aronson
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Cause: Reconstruction America 1863-1877 by Tonya Bolden
African American Faces of the Civil War: An Album by Ronald Cuddington
Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis
Cooper Sun by Sharon M. Draper

A Walk Through Darkness by David Anthony Durham
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones

Property by Valerie Martin
Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam by Tony Medina
The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
A Mercy by Toni Morrison

Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
A Wreath For Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 by Anna Deavere Smith
Carolina Clay: The Life and Legend of Slave Potter Dave by Leonard Todd

African American Mosiac from the Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.)
AfriClassical: African Heritage in Classical Music
[American] Revolution's Black Soliders
Amistad Digital Resource from Columbia University (NY)
Digital Schomburg: Images of African Americans from the 19th Century from the New York Public Library (NYPL)
Forever Free from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission
IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas from the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (Washington D.C.)
Malcolm X Project from Columbia University (NY)
Say it Plain, Say it Loud from American Radioworks (MN)
The Transatlantic Slave Trade Database from Emory University (GA)

Of Interest:
The Green Book--a pre World War II Travel Guide for African American Lodging.

Charleston, S.C. Slave badges used for those hired out to work for other plantation owners and private businesses. (1783
Charleston, S.C. Slave badges used for those hired out to work for other plantation owners and private businesses. (1783-1865)
If you have favorite children's or young adult books of your own that you would like to add to this list, please email us.