Each February, Americans across the United States commemorate Black History Month, a month-long national celebration of the contributions and achievements that black men and women have made throughout U.S. and world history.
Honoring Black History Month remains as important as it has ever been, as it is a reminder that black people and culture are inseparably woven into the fabric of America. Black History Month is a celebration of identity and activism that serves as a month-long call to action for citizens to learn, understand, recognize, and accept the key contributions that black men and women have made in all aspects of American society. Likewise, the month is a both a reminder about the progress that the U.S. has made to date, as well as an inspiration for the trials that remain ahead for all Americans, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual preference, ethnic background, or country of origin.
In celebration of Black History Month, we have compiled the following list of books and websites that anyone, including students and teachers, can reference, study, read, and enjoy throughout the entire year. It is our hope that you will enjoy and learn from these outstanding works and historical resources. If you have further book and/or website suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!
- Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope by Nikki Grimes
- Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen
- He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson
- I Love My Hair! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
- Jaden Toussaint, The Greatest (Series) by Marti Dumas
- June Peters, You Will Change The World One Day by Alika R. Turner
- Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by President Barack Obama
- Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander
- Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis by Jabari Asim
- Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews and Bill Taylor; illustrated by Bryan Collier
- What Color is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- You Can Do It! by Tony Dungy
- Booked by Kwame Alexander
- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
- Clubhouse Mysteries, The by Sharon M. Draper
- The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
- Ghost by Jason Reynolds
- Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly
- Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth
- One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
- S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia
- Stealing the Game by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper
High School Grades
- All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Black and White by Paul Volponi
- The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
- Juba! A Novel by Walter Dean Myers
- March (Graphic Novel – Books one – three) by John Lewis & Andrew Aydin
- One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance (poetry) by Nikki Grimes
- This Side of Home by Renee Watson
- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
- We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama edited by E.J. Dionne Jr. and Joy-Ann Reid
- X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon
- Library of Congress’ African American History Month page
- This website provides a wide range of resources related to black history, including primary source materials and links to other national institutions that are celebrating Black History Month, including the National Gallery of Art and the U.S. Holocaust Museum.
- National Museum of African American History & Culture’s Online Collection
- Take a virtual tour of the Smithsonian Institution’s newest museum. This website provides visitors with a glimpse of this museum’s vast collection of artifacts, exhibits, documents, and art, including pieces that date back to the early 1700’s.
- Oxford African American Studies Center’s Underground Railroad: The Journey to Freedom page
- This website contains an interactive timeline that allows users to explore the history of the anti-slavery movement. The site features links that provide further details about the key people, places, publications, and events that defined the abolitionist cause during the 18th and 19th Centuries.
- Google Cultural Institute’s Black History and Culture
- Google worked with dozens of cultural organizations across the U.S. to create a robust digital collection of black history and culture. The site makes it easy for users to share what they have viewed and learned on social networks, and it even enables users to choose their favorite pieces and curate their own galleries.
- New York Public Library’s Digital Schomburg
- NYPL’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture created a website that enables people around the world to access exhibitions, books, articles, photographs, prints, audio, and video concerning African history and culture as well as the African Diaspora.
- New York Times‘ Unpublished Black History
- During February 2016, the New York Times released a trove of unpublished photos of various moments in black history from its vast archives.
- Time for Kids
- This site contains engaging informational texts for elementary students on a variety of topics, including Black History Month.