For Black History Month, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite resources for readers and educators alike. Though this month is dedicated to uplifting Black history, culture, movements, and gamechangers, we must remember that Black history IS American history and should be celebrated all year round.
Black Representation in the Publishing Industry:
We believe it is important in this moment for all of us in the publishing industry to specifically acknowledge how anti-Blackness within our industry has contributed to the ongoing oppression of Black people. The publishing industry continues to uphold a system of institutional racism that oppresses, tokenizes, and shuts out Black people, who make up more than 13% of the US population but only 5% of the publishing workforce.
Our industry has denied Black readers the opportunity to see themselves in books, and has put Black people at risk by continually centering White voices.
It is our job and the job of every publisher in our industry to not only shed light on the pervasiveness of systemic racism and anti-blackness within our industry, but to actively dismantle it.
Check out more about our Diversity Baseline Survey here.
Teaching About Slavery Through Children’s Books:
Watch this critical webinar about using children’s literature and nonfiction to teach about slavery. We discuss and demonstrate with award-winning titles how to support your approach in teaching this complex, under-taught period of American history, with special focus on historical accuracy and cultural responsiveness.
Spotlight: 2021 Books Not About Oppression
The Electric Slide and Kai, written by Kelly Baptist and illustrated by Darnell Johnson (March 2021): Kai is the only member of his family who can’t get the dance steps to the Electric Slide right. But Kai is determined to bust a move in this fun and sweet celebration of African American families.
Magic Like That, written by Samara Cole Doyon and illustrated by Geneva Bowers (September 2021): In this celebration of Black Girl Magic, a young girl finds confidence and excitement in the versatility of her natural hair and the way her different hairstyles reflect the natural world.
The Shadow Prince by David Anthony Durham (September 2021): In this middle grade solarpunk novel set in an alternate Egyptian universe, twelve-year-old Ash must compete to become the Shadow—and protector—of the prince.
Find more books not about oppression here.
Books by Black Authors and Illustrators:
In the below blog posts, we highlight books with Black characters by Black authors and illustrators.
Black History Month Book Collections:
Black Lives Matter in the Classroom:
Watch the recording of our most popular webinar yet, “Black Lives Matter in the Classroom: A Conversation with Experts” with Laleña Garcia and Caryn Davidson, author and illustrator of What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book, and Jesse Hagopian and Denisha Jones, co-authors of Black Lives Matter at School.
Anti-Racism Diverse Reading List:
What does it mean to be anti-racist? If you’re looking to add anti-racist books to your collection but don’t know where to start, our titles from our Anti-Racism Diverse Reading List will help you take the first steps or continue the critical discussions about anti-racism work in your relevant setting.
What other resources are you sharing for Black History Month? Share in the comments below!