Black History

Click on any title to read my reviews which include age recommendations.
See also my Race and Racism list here.

(Note that many picture books are well-suited to older readers)

The ABCs of Black History
Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball
Africa Is My Home: A Child of the Amistad
All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom
Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis’ Fleet-of-Foot Girl
Before She Was Harriet
The Bell Rang
Belle, the Last Mule at Gee’s Bend
Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History
Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went From the Football Field to the Art Gallery
Bird & Diz
Birmingham, 1963
Black is a Rainbow Color
The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore
Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner
By and By: Charles Albert Tindley, the Father of Gospel Music
Carter Reads the Newspaper
The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage

Chasing Freedom: The Life Journey’s of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony
Child of the Civil Rights Movement
Counting the Stars: The Story of Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician
Crossing Bok Chitto
A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dream
Dancing the Ring Shout
Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson’s Journey to the Stars
Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
A Day for Rememberin’: Inspired by the True Events of the First Memorial Day
Delivering Justice: W.W. Law the the Fight for Civil Rights
Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews
Dream Big Dreams: Photographs from Barack Obama’s Inspiring and Historic Presidency
Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon
Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks
Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe
Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson
Flying High: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles
Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History
Frederick’s Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass

Freedom in Congo Square
Freedom River
Freedom Song: The Story of Henry “Box” Brown
Freedom Summer: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer
Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Game
Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams
The Great Migration: Journey to the North
Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box
Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story
Happy Feet: The Savoy Ballroom Lindy Hoppers and Me
Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills
Henry Aaron’s Dream

Henry’s Freedom Box
Hidden Figures: The Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall’s Life, Leadership, and Legacy
Hush Harbor: Praying in Secret
I Have a Dream
I, Matthew Henson: Polar Explorer
Ira’s Shakespeare Dream
I’ve Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jake Makes a World
Jazz on a Saturday Night
Jump: From the Life of Michael Jordan
Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston
Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice
Knockin’ On Wood: Starring Peg Leg Bates
Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century
Let ‘Er Buck: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion
Let the Children March
Lift as You Climb: The Story of Ella Baker

Lillian’s Right to Vote
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
Little Melba and her Big Trombone
Little Piano Girl: The Story of Mary Lou Williams, Jazz Legend
Mansa Musa: The Lion of Mali
Martin and Mahalia: His Words, Her Song
Martin Rising: Requiem for a King
Martin’s Dream Day
Mary Seacole: Bound for the Battlefield
Maya Angelou
Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop
Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson and Her Secret School
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led her People to Freedom
Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters
My Country ‘Tis of Thee: How One Song Reveals the History of Civil Rights

My Name is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth
My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey
A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis
Nelson Mandela
New Shoes
The Negro Speaks of Rivers
Night Boat to Freedom
Nothing but Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson
Odetta: Queen of Folk
The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read
Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons: An Enslaved Woman Fights for Freedom
Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change
Overground Railroad
Phoebe the Spy

Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum
Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott
A Place to Land: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation
Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai
R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul
A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton
The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne
Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis
The President Sang Amazing Grace: A Book About Finding Grace After Unspeakable Tragedy
Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
Remember: The Journey to School Integration
Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou
Rock of Ages
Romare Bearden: Collage of Memories
The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library
The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver
Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama
Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story
She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm
Sing a Song: How “Lift Every Voice and Sing” Inspired Generations
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down
Skit Skat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald
So Tall Within
Something to Prove: The Great Satchel Paige vs. The Rookie Joe Dimaggio
A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin
Sprouting Wings: The True Story of James Herman Banning, the First African American Pilot to Fly Across the United States
A Spy Called James: The True Story of James Lafayette, Revolutionary War Double Agent
Steamboat School
Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness
Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song

Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood
Sundiata: Lion King of Mali
Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman
The Teachers March: How Selma’s Teachers Changed History
That Is My Dream
These Hands
This is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration
Through My Eyes
A Time to Act: John F. Kennedy’s Big Speech
Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper
Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass
The Undefeated

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre
Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad
The Vast Wonder of the World: Biologist Ernest Everett Just
A Voice Named Aretha
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement
Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees
We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song
What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?
When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson
When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop
When the Slave Esperanca Garcia Wrote a Letter
Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super Stream of Ideas
William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad
Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman
With Books & Bricks: How Booker T. Washington Built a School
The Women who Caught the Babies: A Story of African American Midwives
The Youngest Marcher


28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World
Attucks!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team that Awakened a City
Because They Marched:The People’s Campaign for Voting Rights that Changed America
Blood Brother: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers
Frederick Douglas: A Noble Life
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams
Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi
Harriet Tubman
How to Build a Museum
Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told
Jackie and Me

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph
Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters
The Lions of Little Rock
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
Lizzie Demands a Seat!: Elizabeth Jennings Fights for Streetcar Rights
Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Get Weary
Night on Fire
Nobody Gonna Turn Me ‘Round
One Crazy Summer
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance
The Quilts of Gee’s Bend

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow
Stella by Starlight
A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie Peanut Johnson
This is Your Time
Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961
The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
We Are the Change
We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March
You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen
Young, Gifted and Black


Lifting As We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March