February marks Black History Month, and storytime is just one of the many occasions when you can teach your kids about the accomplishments of black pioneers and trailblazers.
Children’s books are famously bad at embracing diversity. In 2016, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that out of 3,400 kids’ books, fewer than one-quarter of them featured a main character who was black, Asian, Latino or Native American. So it’s vital that parents share the books that are available with their kids.
Luckily, there are many helpful resources putting these titles within close reach. For Black History Month, Lee & Low Books, a multicultural children’s book publisher, offers helpful book recommendations. Every day in February, The Brown Bookshelf highlights a different black author or illustrator and their work. Helping Kids Rise also participates in a #ReadingBlackout (an initiative to read books by black authors) at the encouragement of YouTuber Denise Cooper.
With suggestions from the organizations above, plus some others, we put together a list of kids’ books by black authors, about black figures or focused on black culture.
Here are 24 books to read to your child during Black History Month, and year-round, of course.