National African American History Month or Black History Month is celebrated every February in the United States to recognize the accomplishments of African Americans. It acknowledges their struggle for equal rights in as citizens in our country and focuses on the important roles African Americans have played in shaping our nation. The celebration began as a weeklong event in 1926 and was expanded to a month 50 years later in 1976.
Read-alouds that celebrate African American main characters: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña; pictures by Christian Robinson – Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal, a 2016 Caldecott Honor Book, and a 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book. This picture book shares a glimpse of a day in the life of a boy and his grandmother and the strong ties they have for each other. During their bus ride, they find beauty in everyday life, and later share kindness with others.
Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw. Lola and her mother visit the library every Tuesday to check out books and other fun treats.
Biographies: Stop and Go : Garrett Morgan, Inventor by Doris J. Sims ; illustrations by Chuck Johnson. This brief biography tells the story of the inventor of the three color traffic light.
I am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer; illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos – This picture books tells the story of how one woman sat down for civil rights. By keeping her seat at the front of the bus, she challenged racial segregation laws and helped win equal rights for African Americans.
The Who Was books are biographies written for children in grades 3-5. Try these titles on famous African Americans. Who was Frederick Douglas? Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.? Who was Jesse Owens? Who is Muhammad Ali? and Who was Maya Angelou?
Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue & Corinne Naden; illustrated by Don Tate. This picture book tells the story of Challenger Astronaut Ron McNair’s childhood visit to the library.