The Best Books for Raising Inclusive Kids :: Black Protagonists and Historical Figures

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Have you considered the impact the books you choose for your at-home library can have on the little people you are raising? Including books that feature characters and families who look like yours, as well as ones who don’t, is integral to raising inclusive children.

Boston Moms encourages you to diversify your own little library! We are excited to share lists of our favorite books, curated by our team of local moms, to help you narrow down your options.

For Black History Month, we are happy to publish our first list of the year — a compilation of our team’s favorite books that celebrate Black characters, culture, and historical figures. 

We are always learning, and we want you to join us on our journey!

Black History Month books - Boston Moms

“When Parker Curry came face-to-face with Amy Sherald’s transcendent portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, she didn’t just see the First Lady of the United States. She saw a queen—one with dynamic self-assurance, regality, beauty, and truth who captured this young girl’s imagination. When a nearby museum-goer snapped a photo of a mesmerized Parker, it became an internet sensation. Inspired by this visit, Parker, and her mother, Jessica Curry, tell the story of a young girl and her family, whose trip to a museum becomes an extraordinary moment, in a moving picture book.” Book summary courtesy ParkerLooksUp.com.

“Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her — and her hair — happy.

“Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair — and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.” Book summary courtesy of the publisher.

“An important book for all ages, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.” Book summary courtesy Amazon.

“Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.” Book summary courtesy of the author’s website.

“Critically acclaimed author Jabari Asim and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator E. B. Lewis give readers a fascinating glimpse into the boyhood of Civil Rights leader John Lewis.

“John wants to be a preacher when he grows up—a leader whose words stir hearts to change, minds to think, and bodies to take action. But why wait? When John is put in charge of the family farm’s flock of chickens, he discovers that they make a wonderful congregation! So he preaches to his flock, and they listen, content under his watchful care, riveted by the rhythm of his voice.” Book summary courtesy of the publisher.

“Author-illustrator Vashti Harrison shines a bold, joyous light on black men through history in this #1 New York Times bestseller.

“An important book for readers of all ages, this beautifully illustrated and engagingly written volume brings to life true stories of black men in history. Among these biographies, readers will find aviators and artists, politicians and pop stars, athletes and activists. The exceptional men featured include writer James Baldwin, artist Aaron Douglas, filmmaker Oscar Devereaux Micheaux, lawman Bass Reeves, civil rights leader John Lewis, dancer Alvin Ailey, and musician Prince.” Book summary courtesy Amazon.

“This gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another comes from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.” Book summary courtesy of the publisher.

Did we miss any awesome books? Let us know!

Email [email protected] to tell us YOUR favorite book for your inclusive at-home library, and we'll add it to our list!

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