This post is Part 2 in my “Black Books Matter” series. If you are looking for books that are specific to Canadian Black History (Part 1), then <click here>
I recently discovered an amazing Educational Consultant, Britt Hawthorne and she said something in a recent IG post that stuck with me.
Britt said, “Books that talk about hard history should not just be put on your bookshelf… Those stories of hard history, of tough history, of people experiencing oppression, really need to be cared for as such, as if those are your ancestors that went through that experience and so those are conversations that are guided by an adult“.
She goes on to say that it is important to talk about the book and respond to students’ questions. Then, and only then, should the book be placed on a shelf for students to look at independently. She reminds us that it is also very important to let students know that if any questions come up again, they can come to you with their questions at any time.
So, when discussing books about American Black history (or any ‘heavy’ topics for that matter), please keep Britt Hawthorne’s advice in mind.
Books that Address American Black History
A Sweet Smell of Rose
Written by Angela Johnson
Illustrated by Eric Velazquez
Enough! 20 Protesters Who Changed America
Written by: Emily Easton
Illustrated by: Ziyue Chen
Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage
Written by William Loren Katz
Visions of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove
Written by Kathryn Lasky
Illustrated by Nneka Bennett
Books that Celebrate Famous Black People (Past & Present)
If you are looking for books that are specific to Famous Black Canadians, then you may want to check that blog post <here>.
Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes From the Past and Present
Written by Jamia Wilson
Illustrated by Andrea Pippins
So Other People Would Be Also Free
Written and Illustrations by Tonya Leslie
Written by Walter Dean Myers
Illustrations by Leonard Jerkins
Sisters and Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams Hardcover
Written by Howard Bryant
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
Written and Illustrated by Vashti Harrison
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
Written by Margot Lee Shetterly
Illustrated by Laura Freeman
Brave. Black. First.: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World
Written by Cheryl Hudson
Illustrated by Erin K.Robinson
Written by Jonah Winter
Illustrated by AG Ford
Please note that in curating this list, I intentionally chose books that could be found at Black-owned book shops. Please consider purchasing through them (click on any cover to do so). I am not an affiliate… nor do I have a personal connection to this store… I just think their collection of books is awesome and wanted to show my support 🙂