Black History

Click on any title to read my reviews which include age recommendations.

A listing of these history books in chronological order of when the events occurred is here.
See also my Black and Brown Joy list.
See also my Race and Racism list.

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

The ABCs of Black History
Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas
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
All Star: How Larry Doby Smashed the Color Barrier in Baseball
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
Evicted: The Struggle for the Right to Vote
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
John Lewis in the Lead: A Story of the Civil Rights Movement
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
Mae Makes a Way: The True Story of Mae Reeves, Hat and History Maker
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
Nina: A Story of Nina Simone
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
Sweet Justice: Georgia Gilmore and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
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
Dovey Undaunted: A Black Woman Breaks Barriers in the Law, the Military, and the Ministry
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
Timelines from Black History: Leaders, Legends, Legacies
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


All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake
Lifting As We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box
The March Against Fear: The Last Great Walk of the Civil Rights Movement and the Emergence of Black Power
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
Race Against Time: The Untold Story of Scipio Jones and the Battle to Save Twelve Innocent Men
Separate No More: The Long Road to Brown v. Board of Education
Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights
They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March