The very best books celebrating African American culture and values, by African American authors and/or illustrators, from 1970 to the present.
Presents a collection of twenty poems written in tribute to well-known poets from around the world.
Author and Illustrator Javaka Steptoe paints brightly colored scenes of Basquiat’s life and artistic career on textured pieces of wood. This book won the Caldecott medal in 2017 and combines an artist’s biography with the message to children that they can create art based from their own stories and life experiences.
(Gr. K-2) American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland encourages a young ballet student, with brown skin like her own, by telling her that she, too, had to learn basic steps and how to be graceful when she was starting out, and that someday, with practice and dedication, the little girl will become a firebird, too. Includes author's note about dancers who led her to find her voice.
Grades K - 3
A family uses the Underground Railroad to escape slavery. Sparsely worded but powerful.
Grades K - 4
Gr. 3-5. Sometimes the smallest act galvanizes people into decisive action. In this case, it was a woman refusing to give up her seat on a bus and a bus boycott that lasted nearly a year before the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on buses was illegal. Includes one fold-out spread. A handsomely illustrated look at a watershed event.
Gr. 3 and up. Shange's poem "Mood Indigo" pays tribute to several African American men who made important contributions to 20th century culture: Paul Robeson, W.E.B. DuBois, Ray Barretto, Dizzy Gillespie, "Sonny Til" Tilghman, Kwame Nkrumah, and Duke Ellington. Includes brief biographies of each.
Gr. 3-5. In segregated 1950s Nashville, TN, a young African American girl braves a series of obstacles to get to the public library, one of the few integrated places in the town.