Some Favorite Books for Black History Month

I know I’m a little late to the ballgame, but I wanted to add to the wonderful collection of books that I am seeing for Black History Month. Not all of them are historical necessarily, but there are a couple that I just needed to add anyway. These are not affiliate links.

I, Matthew Henson by Carole Boston Weatherfold. He was the first man, not the first black man, the first human recorded to make it to the North Pole. I do have to add the caveat that the indigenous peoples of that region served as guides, so my guess is that someone from their group was actually the first person. 

The Blacker the Berry by Joyce Carol Thomas. This is not a historical book, but is a book that will bring you joy. This books goes over all the colors of black in beautiful prose. You need this one for your book collection.

Poetry for Young People: Maya Angelou. Maya speaks for herself. If you haven’t read anything by Maya you are missing out. We lost a sweet angel when she departed this world. I still miss her presence.

John Henry by Julius Lester illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. I love any book illustrated by Mr Pinkney. This one is a folktale/legend that exemplifies the building of railroad.

Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson. Nelson is one of my favorite authors. I know that this is not US History, but it’s a momentous life worth reading about. The illustrations are stunning! and Nelson really has a way of telling a story.


We are the Ship by Kadir Nelson (not pictured). This book really left an impact on me, and I don’t even like baseball. It is the story of the Negro Baseball League and how they carried the Nation in hard times with, as we all know, very little thanks from some of us. Again, Nelsons work is phenomenal.

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson. A powerful, empowering book. It focuses on the resilience, the power, the resistance agaist oppression of the black people. This one will definitely bring you to tears.

All Different Now by Angela Johnson. This book is about Juneteenth. It just touches on the subject through an imagination of what that day must have felt like to so many weary souls. Beautifully illustrated. For a deeper understanding of Juneteenth, other books are needed.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison. This is a delightful book completely full with influential woman and their contributions to the world. 

Moses by Carole Boston Wetherford, illustrated by Kadir Nelson. An American hero – Harriet Tubman – saving so many many people while risking her own life. Nelson again beautifully and powerfully illustrates the story of this great woman through the words of Weatherford. This is so well written and you already know how I feel about Nelson’s illustrations.


Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen? By Sherri L. Smith. This book goes over the contribution of the Tuskegee Airmen in the second world war. It is like the others in this series with lots of information.

No More! Stories and Songs of Slave Resistance by Rappaport. This is a combination of stories and songs showing the resistance and fight against suppression and enslavement. Some of the stories are more well known like Booker T. Washington and others are less well known. Several songs that are even more powerful when listening to them sung.

The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver by Gene Barretta. This picture book goes over the life of the famous botanist, George Washington Carver.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kim Avila says:

    Thank you for this post!

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