Check Out New Children’s Books for Black History Month!

February is Black History Month, a time when we remember and recognize the contributions African Americans have made to the United States despite the tremendous adversity they faced. 

Below are some brand new Children’s books you can find at YPL now, all focused on important figures and moments in Black History and culture. Some even highlight figures who are still fighting for justice and demanding change today. 

Happy reading!

  1. H is for Harlem by Dinah Johnson
    This richly informative and beautifully illustrated alphabet picture book celebrates Harlem’s vibrant traditions, past and present.

  2. Love is Loud: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement by Sandra Neil Wallace
    This is a picture book biography of Diane Nash, a leader of the Civil Rights Movement who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis. Born in 1938 in Chicago, Diane led lunch counter sit-ins and peaceful marches. Diane fought with love, as well as strong words and actions, to stop segregation.

  3. Black-Eyed Peas and Hoghead Cheese: A Story of Food, Family, and Freedom by Glenda Armand
    Main character Frances helps her grandmother prepare New Year’s Day dinner and learns the origins of the different dishes and soul food they cook together. 

  4. Wonderful Hair: The Beauty of Annie Malone by Eve Nadel Catarevas
    Annie Turnbo Malone was an influential Black business leader in the early 20th century. She turned her personally developed hair care products into a successful industry. One of her students was the much more famous Madame C.J. Walker. With her products, Annie Malone encouraged Black women to feel good about their hair, and showed them how to be entrepreneurs.

  5. Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement by Angela Joy – *recently named a Caldecott Honor and Sibert Honor title at the 2023 American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards
    This picture book biography tells the story of Mamie, the mother of Emmett Till, and how she channeled her grief over her son’s devastating death into a call to action for the Civil Rights Movement.

  6. Just Jerry: How Drawing Shaped My Life: A Memoir by Caldecott Medalist Jerry Pinkney
    Caldecott Medal winner and illustrator of over one hundred books, Jerry Pinkney, recounts the story of his childhood, detailing how he developed his artistic talent.

  7. I Am John Lewis by Brad Meltzer
    This picture book biography spotlights John Lewis, who played a vital role in the Civil Rights Movement, having helped organize the March on Washington and the Selma Voting Rights March. It also emphasizes his lifelong dedication to public service as a member of the House of Representatives.

  8. My Selma: True Stories of a Southern Childhood at the Height of the Civil Rights Movement by Willie Mae Brown
    In this stirring memoir, Willie Mae Brown writes of growing up Black in a town at the epicenter of the fight for freedom, equality, and human rights.

  9. Justice Rising: 12 Amazing Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement by Katheryn Russell-Brown
    This book celebrates twelve Black women who were pivotal to the Civil Rights Movement and the fight for justice and equal rights in America.

  10. An American Story by Kwame Alexander
    This picture book written in verse weaves together the past and present to explore the legacy of slavery during a classroom lesson.

  11. Holding Her Own: The Exceptional Life of Jackie Ormes by Traci N. Todd
    Jackie Ormes used her artistry to bring joy and hope to Black people everywhere. But in post-World War II America, Black people were still being denied their civil rights, and Jackie faced a dilemma: How could her art remain true to her signature joy, while also staying honest about the inequalities Black people were fighting against? This is a moving tribute to the indelible legacy of America’s first Black woman cartoonist.

  12. Ketanji Brown Jackson: First Black Woman on the US Supreme Court by Heather E. Schwartz
    Ketanji Brown Jackson is the first Black woman to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. This biography traces the path and marks the moments that brought her to this high office.

  13. Stacey Abrams and the Fight to Vote by Traci N. Todd
    Stacey Abrams, politician and Nobel peace prize nominee, is highlighted in this poetic picture book biography that follows her fight for voters’ rights. Narrated by Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Septima Clark, and Fannie Lou Hamer, this powerful story draws connections between Abrams’ important work and how it was inspired by those luminaries before her.

  14. Langston Hughes by Chyina Powell
    This detailed biography describes the life, career, and social impact of poet Langston Hughes, who played an active and important role during the Harlem Renaissance.

  15. A Child’s Introduction to Jazz by Jabari Asim
    This nonfiction title explores the rich history and culture of jazz music, including profiles of famous musicians like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holliday