Black History Month or, as we say at New Moon Girls, Black Herstory Month, is the perfect time to recommend Black History books for girls! Don’t limit yourself to February. These great books provide inspiring reading all year long.
Recognize: An Anthology Honoring and Amplifying Black Life
Through poetry, essays, short stories, and a stunning eight-page artwork spread, this collection celebrates Black life and Black culture in the United States. Featuring work about anti-Black violence, the misrepresentation of Black people in the media, and more, this powerful book reminds us that Black lives have ALWAYS mattered.
This is Your Time
At the age of six, Ruby Bridges was the first African-American girl to attend a formerly all-White school in New Orleans, signalling the end of segregation. Now, Ruby shares her experience of that fateful school day and a vision for the future. “What can inspire tomorrow often lies in our past,” she writes in this inspiring letter to readers.
When Winter Robeson Came
In 1965, Eden’s cousin Winter comes to visit her in Los Angeles. He’s looking for clues to his father’s disappearance in the Watts neighborhood 10 years earlier. But when the cousins investigate, the area they have their eye on erupts into violence. For six days, the neighborhood is like a war zone in this novel exploring joy and heartache during the Watts Riots.
When Nana’s parents accuse her of telling too many lies, her punishment is missing summer camp. Instead, she has to live with her grandmother in Ghana, where she can barely speak the language. Things get even stranger when she encounters Ananse, trickster spider of Ghanaian legend. She learns that he protects the forest around the village, which is steeped in magic. Now, she must join forces with her cousin and a new friend to protect the magic from contractors in this new graphic novel.
The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth
For generations, Black parents have had “the talk” with their children and teenagers — a tough conversation about racism in the United States. This book expands that conversation. Diverse authors — including Renee Watson, Nikki Grimes, and Tracey Baptiste — share their reflections on race, identity, and self-esteem.
More Black History Books for Girls
Michelle Obama made history as the first Black first lady, and now she’s adapted her book, Becoming, especially for young readers.
If you’re interested in learning more about the first Black vice president in the United States, check out Who Is Kamala Harris? by Kirsten Anderson.
The graphic novel, Who Sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycotts?, explores the movement Rosa Parks ignited by refusing to give up her bus seat for White riders.
Like music? Find your next favorite artist in She Raised Her Voice! 50 Black Women Who Sang Their Way Into Music History, an illustrated biography collection by Jordannah Elizabeth.
In Brave. Black. First. by Cheryl Hudson, you can read about activist Harriet Tubman, athlete Serena Williams, and singer Aretha Franklin, along with over 50 other Black women who changed the world.
What about you? Do you have favorite Black history books for girls — books by Black authors or with Black main characters? I have to admit, I had a hard time picking only 10 for this column. Add your recommendations or thoughts on the books above in the comments!