Books to Celebrate African American History Month
Learn, explore, and have conversations about the achievements of African Americans and the moments that have shaped U.S. history.
Celebrate African American History Month by sharing books that honor African American history, feature African American icons from the past, or illustrate contemporary, everyday life. These books and more are available for check out at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Read them this month and all year long because as Lewis Michaux from The Book Itch says, “Knowledge is power. You need it every hour. Read a book!"
Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee is a sweet look at a parent’s day with an active baby. Repeated variations of, “Please, baby, please,” will have your child reading along in no time and gorgeous, vibrant illustrations from Kadir Nelson bring the baby alive with spunk, tantrums, and charm. The child’s own plea of, “Mama, mama, mama, please,” for a good night kiss provides gentle closure and a loving end to a busy day. Perfect for sharing with groups or one-on-one with children ages 0-5.
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate is the biography of George Moses Horton, who loved words but was born a slave. Growing up in North Carolina George taught himself to read, sold poetry on the campus of the University of North Carolina, and published several books, all at a time when slaves were discouraged, and often forbidden, from becoming literate. With beautiful illustrations, and a powerful story that demonstrates the resilience of African American people, this story is a wonderful introduction to an American poet for children ages 6-11.
The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson tells the story of Harlem’s National Memorial African Bookstore, and its owner, Lewis Michaux. Told through the eyes of Michaux’s young son, The Book Itch tells how the store became a gathering place for politicians, artists, writers, and activists. Historical figures including Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X make appearances, and the author highlights the important role the store played in the community, history, and Michaux’s belief that books and knowledge could change the lives of African Americans. For ages 7-12.