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Recommendations

Black History Month

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Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes
E BARNES
This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber’s chair—a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. The fresh cuts. That’s where it all begins.
Hope’s Gift by Kelly Starling Lyons
E LYONS
A runaway slave during the Civil War, Hope's father returns after the Emancipation Proclamation as a member of the U.S. Colored Troops.
Follow Me Down to Nicodemus Town: Based on the History of the African American pioneer settlement by A. LaFaye
E LAFAYE
When Dede sees a notice offering land for black people in Kansas, her family decides to quit sharecropping and become homesteading pioneers.
The Oldest Student by Rita Lorraine Hubbard
BIOGRAPHY JNF WALKER
A picture book biography sharing the inspiring and incredible true story of the nation's oldest student, Mary Walker, who learned to read at the age of 116.
Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford
HISTORY US 19TH JNF WEA
As slaves relentlessly toiled in an unjust system in 19th century Louisiana, they all counted down the days until Sunday, when at least for half a day they were briefly able to congregate in Congo Square in New Orleans. Here they were free to set up an open market, sing, dance, and play music. They were free to forget their cares, their struggles, and their oppression. This story chronicles slaves' duties each day, from chopping logs on Mondays to baking bread on Wednesdays to plucking hens on Saturday, and builds to the freedom of Sundays and the special experience of an afternoon spent in Congo Square.
Voice of Freedom Fannie Lou Hamer by Carole Boston Weatherford
BIOGRAPHY JNF HAMER
Presents a collage-illustrated treasury of poems and spirituals inspired by the life and work of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer.
Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men who Changed America by Andrea Davis Pinkney
HISTORY US JNF PIN
Presents the stories of ten African-American men from different eras in American history, organized chronologically to provide a scope from slavery to the modern day.
If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine
HISTORY US 19TH JNF LEV
Answers questions about the background of the underground railroad, explains what it was like to be a slave, and describes the hardships faced by fugitive slaves.
Colorblind: A Story of Racism by Johnathan Harris
BIOGRAPHY GRAPHIC JNF HARRIS
Johnathan, a fifteen-year-old African American from Long Beach, California, shares his story of being physically and verbally harassed because of his race, and of overcoming the discrimination to embrace all cultures, and then to be proud of his own.
Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
J STONE
An 11-year-old boy confronts the realities of race relations, past and present, and the mysterious agenda of his unconventional grandmother during an unplanned spring break road trip through the once-segregated American South.
For Black Girls Like Me by Mariama j Lockington
J LOCKINGTON
Eleven-year-old Makeda dreams of meeting her African American mother, while coping with serious problems in her white adopted family, a cross-country move, and being homeschooled.
Dough Boys by Paula Chase
J CHASE
Told in two voices, thirteen-year-old best friends Simp and Rollie play on a basketball team in their housing project, but Rollie dreams of being a drummer and Simp, to impress the gang leader, Coach Tez.
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
SF TEEN EMEZI
In a near-future society that claims to have gotten rid of all monstrous people, a creature emerges from a painting seventeen-year-old Jam's mother created, a hunter from another world seeking a real-life monster.
Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D Jackson
TEEN JACKSON
Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.
Slay by by Brittney Morris
TEEN MORRIS
An honors student at Jefferson Academy, seventeen-year-old Keira enjoys developing and playing Slay, a secret, multiplayer online role-playing game celebrating black culture, until the two worlds collide.
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
POLITICS KEN
Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America—but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.
Magical Negro: Poems by Morgan Parker
LITERATURE POETRY PAR
A latest collection by the prizewinning author of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé explores black American womanhood through evocative themes ranging from self-conception and loneliness to objectification and ancestral trauma.
How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones
BIOGRAPHY JONES
The co-host of BuzzFeed’s AM to DM, award-winning poet and author of Prelude to Bruise documents his coming-of-age as a young, gay, black man in an American South at a crossroads of sex, race and power.
The World Doesn’t Require You: Stories by Rion Amilcar Scott
SCOTT
This collection of short stories, set in fictional Cross River, Maryland, includes the tales of a struggling musician who is God's last son and a Ph.D. candidate whose dissertation about a childhood game sparks a riot in a once-segregated town.
A Particular Kind of Black Man by Tope Folarin
FOLARIN
A Rhodes Scholar and winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing offers a novel about a Nigerian family living in Utah and their uncomfortable assimilation into American life.
How We Fight White Supremacy by Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin
SOCSCI SOL
In this must-read for anyone new to resistance work, the authors celebrate the Black Resistance, from protests to art to sermons to joy, and provide a blueprint for the fight for freedom and justice—and ideas for how each of us can contribute.
Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People by Ben Crump
SOCSCI CIVRTS CRU
Crump shows that there is a persistent, prevailing, and destructive mindset regarding colored people that is rooted in our history as a slave-owning nation. This biased attitude has given rise to mass incarceration, voter disenfranchisement, unequal educational opportunities, disparate health care practices, job and housing discrimination, police brutality, and an unequal justice system... Open Season is more than Crump's incredible mission to preserve justice, it is a call to action for Americans to begin living up to the promise to protect the rights of its citizens equally and without question.