Skip Navigation
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, provide ads, analyze site traffic, and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.
Celebrate a nation of diverse readers with these recommended books, authors, and teaching resources.
Join us

Black History Booklist

Celebrate African American heritage, tradition, and achievement when you share the stories of African Americans throughout history and inspire young readers to learn more about their relevance today.
Librarian with stack of books
Published: December 11, 2023

Find more recommendations on our extended list of Black history titles available at your local library through World Cat.

Picture Books and Elementary

Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner by Janice N. Harrington

Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon by Kelly Starling Lyons

A History of Me by Adrea Theodore

Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston by Alicia D. Williams

Love Is Loud: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement by Sandra Neil Wallace

Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson and Her Secret School by Janet Halfmann

Papa's Mark by Gwendolyn Battle-Lavert

A Ride to Remember: A Civil Rights Story by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan

Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey with Gwen Strauss

This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration by Jacqueline Woodson

Middle Grade

Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renée Watson

Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement by Angela Joy

The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural by Patricia McKissack

Loretta Little Looks Back: Three Voices Go Tell It by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Never Caught the Story of Ona Judge: George and Martha Washington's Courageous Slave Who Dared to Run Away (Young Readers Edition) by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes

Unspeakable: the Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford

We Are Your Children Too: Black Students White Supremacists and the Battle for America's Schools in Prince Edward County Virginia by P. O’Connell Pearson

We Were the Fire: Birmingham 1963 by Shelia P. Moses

When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop by Laban Carrick Hill

Young Adult

American Wings: Chicago's Pioneering Black Aviators and the Race for Equality in the Sky by Sherri L. Smith and Elizabeth Wein

Black Was the Ink by Michelle Coles

Defiant: Growing Up in the Jim Crow South by Wade Hudson

A Long Time Coming: A Lyrical Biography of Race in America from Ona Judge to Barack Obama by Ray Anthony Shepard

Pauli Murray: The Life of a Pioneering Feminist and Civil Rights Activist by Rosita Stevens-Holsey and Terry Catasús Jennings

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster Mutiny and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks (Young Readers Edition) by Jeanne Theoharis and Brandy Colbert

Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party's Promise to the People by Kekla Magoon

Separate No More: The Long Road to Brown V. Board of Education by Lawrence Goldstone

Shackles from the Deep: Tracing the Path of a Sunken Slave Ship a Bitter Past and a Rich Legacy by Michael H. Cottman

Celebrate a nation of diverse readers with these recommended books, authors, and teaching resources.

Stay on top of current education news

Sign up to learn more about the important issues affecting our nation’s public schools and students.
Hidden Figures cover detail

Recommended Books by Theme from NEA's Read Across America

Spread the joy of reading with these lists from NEA and Colorín Colorado to connect children and their families to diverse books, languages, and cultures.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.