Books to Keep Teaching Black History


A Splash of Red: The life and Art of Horace Pippin

A splash of redHorace Pippin was a talented artist from the time he was a child. Being shot in the shoulder in World War II injured his painting hand; he could not use it like he could before the war. He taught himself to paint all over again by using his good hand to steady the injured one. He went onto become a celebrated painter. The illustrations are exquisite in this book. A must read.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, click here: A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin (Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Awards))

Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull

Wilma unlimitedWilma’s story of triumph is unmatched. Wilma was a 4 pound baby who contracted polio as a child. It crippled her leg, rendering it almost useless. She overcame polio, poverty, and went on to be the first person in her family to go to college, on an athletic scholarship for track and field. She went on be an Olympic gold medalist. Read this story to your children, it is incredible.

To Purchase this book on Amazon click here: Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman


The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate

Goerge Moses HortonDon Tate wrote and illustrated this beautiful, powerful book. My class of Kindergarteners loved this book, and I loved reading it. George Moses Horton was a slave who taught himself to read and starting writing poems in his head while he worked. Through a twist of fate he had to bring fruits and vegetables to the campus of a University and sell them. He was teased, so he distracted them by reciting poetry, soon people began to pay him for his poems. His story is sad, and truly remarkable, with an incredible ending. This book is honest about the horrors of slavery without being scary for young children.  The poetry infused in the story is lovely.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, click here: Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton

Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman by Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger

Fly HighBessie Coleman was the first black woman to earn a pilot’s license. She had to go to France to learn to fly; no one would teach her in the US. She is a woman to be admired for her courage and tenacity.  She passed away in a plane crash; the book explains her death at the end. Preview it and decide if your children are ready for it. I loved how this book told her entire life, not just a light overview.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, click here: Fly High!: The Story of Bessie Coleman

Emmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson 

emmanuels dreamThis book is incredible. A young boy is born in Ghana with one working leg. His mother teaches him to be self sufficient and loves hope into his very soul. He helps provide for his poor family, but he has one huge dream, to bike all the way around Ghana. He writes to the US and they give him a bike. He rides 400 miles in 10 days, completing his dream. It is such a powerful story.

To Purchase this book on  Amazon, click here: Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah


Seeds of Change by Jen Cullerton Johnson

seedsofchangeSeeds of Change tells the story of Wangari Maathai, the first African American woman and environmentalist to win a Nobel Peace Prize. She was so brave and stood up for her homeland. I have a deep admiration for her accomplishments. It is a powerful example of fighting for good and making a difference.


To Purchase this book on Amazon, click here: Seeds of Change: Wangari’s Gift to the World

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