African American History, Biography & Culture: Books for Elementary School

Through stories that illustrate African American history, biography and culture, children in grades K-5 can learn about people and events in an exciting way. Titles like these can offer entertaining and clever stories while fostering positive messages. Caregivers and educators can use these books to begin or continue conversations about African American history through the unique craft of storytelling.

A Black Woman Did That

Spotlighting vibrant, inspiring black women whose accomplishments have changed the world for the better, this volume profiles well-known historical figures and women who are pushing boundaries today, including Ida B. Wells, Mae Jamison, Maxine Waters and Ava DuVernay.

Carter Reads the Newspaper

Picture book biography of Carter G. Woodson, who was born to parents who had both been enslaved and who read the newspaper to his illiterate father every day and grew up to study history at Harvard University and become the “Father of Black History.”

Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968

This historical fiction picture book presents the story of nine-year-old Lorraine Jackson, who in 1968 witnessed the Memphis sanitation strike–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final stand for justice before his assassination–when her father, a sanitation worker, participated in the protest.

The People Remember

A lyrical narrative that recounts the journey of African descendants in America by connecting their history to the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Includes author’s note and timeline of events. You can also check out this title as eAudio on OverDrive or as eAudio on Hoopla.

Someday Is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins

More than a year before the Greensboro sit-ins, a teacher named Clara Luper led a group of young people to protest the segregated Katz drugstore by sitting at its lunch counter. With simple, elegant art, Someday Is Now tells the inspirational story of this unsung hero of the Civil Rights movement.

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices

What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art, poetry, and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice and comfort to young activists.