The very best books celebrating African American culture and values, by African American authors and/or illustrators, from 1970 to the present.


Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre

by Weatherford, Carole Boston
Call Number: x 323.1 W362

Before the Ever After

by Woodson, Jacqueline
Call Number: x

New Kid

by Craft, Jerry
Call Number: 740.9999 C885

Middle schooler Jordan Banks had hoped to attend art school, but mom sends him to a private prep school where he is one of a handful of black kids. No one at Riverdale Academy Day School is openly hostile towards him for his race, but he deals with a series of microaggressions, like being called the name of another black student, or everyone looking at him when the teacher is discussing students on financial aid. Craft mixes humor with heart in this hilarious yet thoughtful graphic novel.


A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919

by Hartfield, Claire,
Call Number: 320.158 H328

Piecing Me Together

by Watson, Renee,
Call Number: YA

March: Book Three

by Lewis, John
Call Number: 323.4092 L674-2 v.3

Winner of the 2017 Michael Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. U.S. Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis continues his story in the concluding volume of this graphic novel trilogy, which opens with the bombing of the Birmingham Baptist Church, Freedom Summer and ends with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 being signed into law.


Gone Crazy in Alabama

by Williams-Garcia, Rita
Call Number: x

Brown Girl Dreaming

by Woodson, Jacqueline
Call Number: x 92 W8985
Grades 5 - 8. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world.

P.S. Be Eleven

by Williams-Garcia, Rita.
Call Number: x

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America

by Pinkney, Andrea Davis
Call Number: x 920 P655-1
Grades 5 - 8
Presents the stories of ten African-American men from different eras in American history, organized chronologically to provide a scope from slavery to the modern day.

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

by Nelson, Kadir.
Call Number: x 305 N427

Gr. 4 and up. An unnamed narrator (based on Nelson's grandmother) tells the story of African Americans from before the American Revolution to the election of Barack Obama. Gorgeously illustrated and compellingly told.


One Crazy Summer

by Williams-Garcia, Rita
Call Number: x

Grades 4-8. During the summer of 1968, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters travel to Oakland, California to visit their mother, who abandoned them as babies. While there, they reluctantly spend time at a summer camp run by the Black Panthers.


We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball

by Nelson, Kadir
Call Number: x 796 N4269

Gr. 3 and up. An elderly ball player regales his audience with the trials and triumphs of determined athletes and fans, beautifully enhanced by Nelson's glorious art. Includes a forward by Hank Aaron, himself once a player in the Negro League.


Elijah of Buxton

by Curtis, Christopher Paul.
Call Number: x

Copper Sun

by Draper, Sharon M. (Sharon Mills).
Call Number: YA

Remember: The Journey to School Integration

by Morrison, Toni.
Call Number: x 370 M882

Grades 3 - 8. Archival photographs focus on the children and teens and the role they played in school integration, with text imagining how the participants must have felt.


The First Part Last

by Johnson, Angela
Call Number: YA

Bronx Masquerade

by Grimes, Nikki.
Call Number: x

The Land

by Taylor, Mildred D.
Call Number: x

Miracle's Boys

by Woodson, Jacqueline.
Call Number: YA

Bud, Not Buddy

by Curtis, Christopher Paul.
Call Number: x

Gr. 4 and up. 10-year-old Bud escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of a man he believes is his father, renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway. Winner of the 2000 Newbery Medal.



by Johnson, Angela, 1961-
Call Number: YA

Forged by Fire

by Draper, Sharon M. (Sharon Mills).
Call Number: x


by Myers, Walter Dean, 1937-2014.

Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales

by Hamilton, Virginia, 1934-2002.
Call Number: x 398 H221-3

Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters

by McKissack, Pat, 1944-2017.
Call Number: x 975 M158

Toning the Sweep

by Johnson, Angela, 1961-
Call Number: x

The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural

by McKissack, Pat, 1944-2017.
Call Number: x

Now is Your Time!: The African-American Struggle for Freedom

by Myers, Walter Dean, 1937-2014.
Call Number: x 326 M996 1991

The Road to Memphis

by Taylor, Mildred D.
Call Number: x Ed.a

A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter

by McKissack, Pat
Call Number: x 331 M158

Fallen Angels

by Myers, Walter Dean, 1937-2014.

Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam. 


The Friendship

by Taylor, Mildred D.
Call Number: x

Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World

by Walter, Mildred Pitts.
Call Number: x

The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales

by Hamilton, Virginia.
Call Number: x 398 H221-1 1993

Motown and Didi: A Love Story

by Myers, Walter Dean, 1937-2014.

Everett Anderson's Goodbye

by Clifton, Lucille, 1936-2010.
Call Number: xz Ed.a

Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush

by Hamilton, Virginia.
Call Number: x

Let the Circle be Unbroken

by Taylor, Mildred D.
Call Number: x

This Life

by Poitier, Sidney.
Call Number: 812.092 P757

The Young Landlords

by Myers, Walter Dean, 1937-2014.

Escape to Freedom: A Play About Young Frederick Douglass

by Davis, Ossie.
Call Number: x 793.1 D263 1990

Africa Dream

by Greenfield, Eloise.
Call Number: xz Ed.a

The Story of Stevie Wonder

by Haskins, James, 1941-2005.
Call Number: x 92 W8715Ha
  • Out of print/Unavailable

Duey's Tale

by Bailey, Pearl.

The Legend of Africania

by Robinson, Dorothy W.
  • Out of print/Unavailable

Ray Charles

by Mathis, Sharon Bell.
Call Number: x 92 C476Ma 2001

I Never Had it Made: An Autobiography

by Robinson, Jackie, 1919-1972.
Call Number: 796.231 R662-3 1995

Seventeen Black Artists

by Fax, Elton C.
Call Number: 709.73 F281

Black Troubadour: Langston Hughes

by Rollins, Charlemae H.
  • Out of print/Unavailable

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Man of Peace

by Patterson, Lillie
  • Out of print/Unavailable