Books to Read for Black History Month


February is Black History Month. This is a month that pays tribute to African American men and women from the past and the present in history, science, politics, journalism, art, and many other areas. I want to take this opportunity to recommend some books to read for Black History Month for both kids and adults.

Some of these books I have read, some of these books are on my wishlist, and some of these books have been recommended by peers who have read them and urged me to read them. These books offer a great way to open dialogue and discussion. Some are great to learn more about black history and culture. Some of these recommendations have been written by amazing black authors.

My love for reading started when I was young. I know kids really enjoy fiction books. My kids can go on about all fiction books they enjoy and read over and over again. I encourage reading for my kids of both fiction and non-fiction books. And here are some books I have read to my kids and recommend for kids.

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport is a book that I recommend on my post-MLK Jr. Day: Great Way to Open Dialogue & Discussion for Parents & Kids. This is a great tribute and a great illustrated book for young readers.

White Socks Only by Evelyn Coleman is a touching fictional story about a young girl during the civil rights movement. This is a short read with a message and reveals some truths about civil rights and the treatment of African Americans during that time.

Henry’s Freedom Box by Evelyn Levine is a book that has been recommended to me and is on my list to read this month with my kids. This is a true story that has been well illustrated. It talks about slavery, injustice, being courageous and so much more.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison I feel is a must-have book. If you have a little girl, you will definitely love this book. This book shares the biographies of various women in history in various fields that every girl could see themselves in.

For the adults here are some recommendations that if you haven’t read, here’s your chance to add them to your reading list this month (or year).

Beloved by Toni Morrison is a classic novel inspired by an African American slave named Margaret Garner. This book won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988 and was the New York Times bestseller for 25 weeks. This book is a part of a trilogy but can be read alone. Toni Morrison has many other books if you enjoy her writing.

Becoming by Michelle Obama is an autobiographical memoir by Mrs. Obama. Is there anything else I need to say about this book? 🙂

The Color Purple by Alice Walker is classic. It has strong language, graphic details and tells the story of an African American woman (women if I can say) who deals with struggles during times in the 1900s. This is a heart wrenching and raw book that is a masterpiece.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a book that is a letter telling his son what it meant to grow up as an African American male in 2015. This book was inspired when Coates visited Barack Obama and was encouraged by Coates’ wife. This is a quick read but one that you will find thought-provoking. I see this book quickly becoming a classic in the years to come.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett, I first heard about the movie before the book. I decided to read the book before I saw the movie. And I am pretty sure you may have seen the movie already. The book is still good, and if you have seen the movie, then I recommend getting the audiobook version.

Now, I know you may not be able to read all these books this month, but I challenge you to read at least one and add read the others when you get a chance this year. You won’t regret reading any of these books.