Celebrate Black History Month

Black History Month

February is Black History month!  Throughout the year, but especially in February, we celebrate the stories of influential African Americans and highlight the literary contributions of African American authors and illustrators.  Black History Month grew out of Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s weeklong celebratory idea that started in the 1920s.  Dr. Woodson, a son of former slaves and a graduate of Harvard University, wanted to ensure the stories of African Americans were included and accurately represented in American history.

Book Lists

One way to celebrate Black History Month is through reading. These books are from our NYC Reads 365 book lists. We encourage families to visit their local libraries and find these great books to share. Some of these books feature well-known figures, others are little-known stories that will surprise you!

Elementary Grades

  • Nina: Jazz Legend and Civil Rights Activist by Alice Brière-Haquet (grade 2)
  • Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford (grade 3)
  • The United States vs Jackie Robinson by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen (grade 3)
  • 28 Days Moments in Black history that Changed the World by Charles R. Smith Jr. (grade 4)
  • Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgill (grade 4)
  • Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison (grade 5)
  • Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford (grade 5)

Middle School Grades

  • Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Viven Thomas by Gwendolyn Hooks (grade 6)
  • Pathfinders: The Journeys of 17 Extraordinary Black Souls by Tonya Bolden (grade 7-8)
  • Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South by Andrew Maraniss (grade 7-8)

High School Grades

  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone (grade 9-10)
  • Rest in Power by Sybrina Fulton (grade 11-12)
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (grade 11-12)

Other Resources

Other Ways to Celebrate