It was so fun to search and share all the interesting Black leaders and influencers in history this past month. Black history is a part of American history so we have a list of books to continue doing the work beyond Black History Month. Below is a book list of Black history/Antiracism for adults and children.
Black History/Antiracism Adult Books
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson
The web of the Caste system that is weaved into US racial systems even today. Even studied by Nazi Germany. Eye opening, while uncomfortable to learn, brings an understanding you may not have had before about racism and its history in the United States.
Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, by Ibram X. Kendi
I must admit, when I opened my Amazon box and saw Kendi’s book I was a little intimidated. Can I read this book and keep up? The answer was: yes. A new take on retelling history, history told with through the lens of race. A deeper dive into learning about a few of the names in the book I did know and may I had never seen mentioned before!
Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race, by Deby Irving
If you are starting to explore racism/antiracism this is a great starter book. Irving is a Winchester native who we see struggles from trying to not be racist to starting to understand racism and shift to working towards antiracism. It might seem like the two are one in the same, but it isn’t! Irving gives readers the ability to see how the journey to actively working on being antiracist can carry a lot of guilt, mistakes, missteps but also passion.
Black History/Antiracism Kids & Young Adult Books
A Kids Book About Racism, by Jelani Memory
This is the starter book to talk about racism, antiracism, and open the door to discuss race in a safe space with kids. No pictures but still a great pick for ages 5 and up.
The Black Friend: On Being A Better White Person by Frederick Joseph
This book reads like a letter from a good friend, with moments of humor and sadness throughout. Joseph shares his own stories, mixed in with interviews from other Black and Brown writers, on topics like reverse racism, is it racist?, oppression olympics, and white privilege.
An easy read for anyone looking to start thinking about race, this book truly acts as your Black friend offering you insight and resources. This is one of those YA books that adults don’t realize is a YA book.
Little Leaders: Bold Women in History & Little Leaders: Exceptional Men in History, by Vashti Harrison
Some Black leaders and influencers you may have already learned about, but many more that you probably haven’t. All in these two books. This book is a children’s book, but there is still plenty adults can learn from this book too.
Mae Among the Starts, by Roda Ahmed
The story of the first Black woman to travel into space, Mae Jemison! The obstacles, the support, and the between to reach her dreams.
There are so many amazing books to recommend. If you already have these books in your library here are a few more resources: Diverse Books, Here We Read’s 3-5 year old list, The Conscious Kid, and Black Enterprise.