17 New Picture Books about Black History

with 2 Comments


New Picture Books about Black History


It’s Black History Month! I always love searching for new releases of picture books about Black history that can be read at home or used in the classroom. And this year I found quite a few new treasures, some of them about amazing people I had never heard of before, like Raven Wilkinson and Wendell O. Scott.

Please also check out my fellow multicultural bloggers’ Black History Month posts at the bottom of this page!

17 New Picture Books about Black History

Before She was Harriet
by Lesa Cline-Ransome

New Picture Books about Black History: Before She Was Harriet

Many picture books about Harriet Tubman have been written but as far as I know, none has focused on the many names she was known by. As General Tubman, she was a Union spy. As Moses, she led hundreds to freedom on the Underground Railroad. As Minty, she was a slave whose spirit could not be broken. Written in verse and illustrated with expressive watercolour paintings, Before She Was Harriet is a beautiful tribute to one of the most humble, courageous and compassionate figures in Black History.  ~ African – Preschool, Elementary School

More Multicultural Books about Iconic Women: 32 Multicultural Picture Books About Strong Female Role Models

Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You
by Carole Boston Weatherford

New Picture Books about Black History: Be A King

“You can be a King. Beat the drum for justice. March to your own conscience.” Through a school project, a class of young students learn to follow Dr Martin Luther King’s example, as he dealt with adversity and never lost hope for equality and justice. With inspiring text and beautiful watercolour illustrations by the same artist who illustrated Before She Was Harriet, Be A King is a perfect book for classroom use.  ~ African – Preschool, Elementary School

More Picture Books about Dr Martin Luther King Jr: 14 Children’s Books about Martin Luther King Jr.

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
by Margot Lee Shetterly

New Picture Books about Black History: Hidden Figures

Math geniuses Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden played an essential role in some of NASA’s greatest successes. Overcoming gender and racial barriers, the four black women provided the calculations for America’s first journeys into space. Hidden Figures is the first picture book adaption of this true story that will inspire children to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.  ~ African – Preschool, Elementary School

More Multicultural Science Books: 50+ Multicultural STEAM Books for Children

Mae Among the Stars
by Roda Ahmed

New Picture Books about Black History: Mae Among The Stars

“When Little Mae was a child, she dreamed of dancing in space. She imagined herself surrounded by billions of stars, floating, gliding, and discovering.” Based on the life of Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel in space, Mae Among The Stars tells the story of how Mae’s curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents’ encouraging words, paved the way for her incredible success at NASA. ~ African – Preschool, Elementary School

Let the Children March
by Monica Clark-Robinson

New Picture Books about Black History: Let The Children March

“I couldn’t play on the same playground as the white kids. / I couldn’t go to their schools. / I couldn’t drink from their water fountains. / There were so many things I couldn’t do.” In 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama, inspired by Dr Martin Luther King Jr, thousands of African American children marched for their civil rights in the place of their parents who feared losing their jobs. Facing fear, hate, and danger, these brave children used their voices to change the world. With expressive illustrations, Let The Children March is a moving account of this historical event. ~ African – Elementary School

Blacksmith’s Song
by Elizabeth Van Steenwyk

New Picture Books about Black History: Blacksmith's Song

The son of an enslaved blacksmith learns that his father is using the rhythm of his hammering to communicate with travellers on the Underground Railroad. He is not allowed to help but then one day Pa falls ill and the boy has to take over. With expressive illustrations and a suspenseful story, Blacksmith’s Song is a great book to teach children about the Underground Railroad. ~ African – Elementary School

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
by Vashti Harrison

New Picture Books about Black History: Bold Women in Black History

This amazing collection of biographies of 40 black women who changed the world became an instant bestseller. With one-page biographies and engaging illustrations, Bold Women in Black History features both iconic heroes and everyday women, from abolitionist Sojourner Truth and pilot Bessie Coleman to chemist Alice Ball, from politician Shirley Chisholm and mathematician Katherine Johnson to poet Maya Angelou. ~ African – Elementary School, Middle School

Martin Rising: Requiem For a King
by Andrea Davis Pinkney

New Picture Books about Black History: Martin Rising

This poetic and beautiful book looks at Dr Martin Luther King Jr.’s life from an unusual angle. Through metaphor, spirituality, and multilayers of meaning, Martin Rising provides a deeply emotional account of the final months and assassination of one of the most iconic figures in American History. Perfect for classroom use! ~ African – Elementary School, Middle School

Nina: Jazz Legend and Civil-Rights Activist Nina Simone
by Alice Brière-Haquet

New Picture Books about Black History: Nina

Nina is a stunning picture book about jazz legend and civil rights activist Nina Simone, one of the greatest voices of the 20th century. In the form of a lullaby to her daughter, the book introduces young readers to  Simone’s early life, her career and her activism, and the struggles she faced as a Black woman. The poignant story is perfectly complemented by the vivid black-and-white illustrations. ~ African – Preschool, Elementary School

More Books about Jazz: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Jazz

Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson
by Leda Schubert

New Picture Books about Black History: Trailblazer

Trailblazer is the little-known story of Raven Wilkinson, the first African American woman to dance for a major classical ballet company. With engaging text and cartoon-style illustrations, this inspiring picture book tells of Wilkinson’s determination and struggles as she pursues her childhood dream of becoming a ballerina. Includes a foreword by Misty Copeland, a personal note from Wilkinson, a glossary of ballet terms, and a bibliography. ~ African – Elementary School

Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten
by Laura Veirs

New Picture Books about Black History: Libba

“Like a train plays rhythms on the track, / Libba made the notes go up and down.” As a young girl, Elizabeth Cotten taught herself how to play her brother’s guitar even though it wasn’t strung right for her (she was left-handed). By age eleven, she had written “Freight Train,” a folk song that became a huge international success. Wity lyrical text and evocative drawings, Libba tells the story of one of the most celebrated American folk musicians of all time. ~ African – Elementary School

More Books about Inspiring Women: 26 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls

Racing against the Odds
by Carole Boston Weatherford

New Picture Books about Black History: Racing Against The Odds

Another beautiful new release by Carole Boston Weatherford! Wendell O. Scott made history as the only black driver to win a race in a NASCAR Grand National (now Spring Cup) division. He never had the resources or sponsorship to buy a brand-new racecar, and so he competed in five hundred races in NASCAR’s top division using secondhand Fords that he fixed up himself in his garage. With beautiful illustrations and rhythmic text, Racing Against The Odds celebrates the amazing achievements of a man who never gave up on his dream. ~ African – Elementary School

Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery
by Sandra Neil Wallace

New Picture Books about Black History: Between the Lines

“An artist paints his own reality.” Strikingly illustrated, Between The Lines tells the remarkable story of NFL star Ernie Barnes who became one of the most influential artists of his generation. Growing up in North Carolina in the 1940s, Ernie loved to paint and dreamed of becoming an artist. But he knew he wouldn’t be able to make a living as an artist in the segregated South. Athletic and tall, he got a college scholarship and became a football star instead. But in his heart, Ernie still longed to paint and never gave up on his dream.  ~ African – Elementary School

Born to Swing: Lil Hardin Armstrong’s Life in Jazz
by Mara Rockliff

New Picture Books about Black History: Born To Swing

From a young age, Lil Hardin loved jamming: At home, at church, and even at her first job in a music store. Unusual for a woman back then, Lil earned a spot playing piano in Chicago’s hottest band and achieved fame as a bandleader and composer. She played with some of the greatest jazz legends, including her husband Louis Armstrong. Born to Swing captures Lil Hardin’s rhythm and passion beautifully. Includes archival images, further information about Lil, a list of some of her songs and recordings, a timeline, an author’s note, and a bibliography.  ~ African – Elementary School

Charlie Takes His Shot: How Charlie Sifford Broke the Color Barrier in Golf
by Nancy Churnin

New Picture Books about Black History: Charlie Takes His Shot

Charlie Takes His Shot is another new release about an African American who succeeded against the odds. In the 1930’s when only white people were allowed to play in the Professional Golf Association, Charlie Sifford was determined to break this race barrier. When he eventually did in 1960, he faced discrimination from hotels that wouldn’t rent him rooms and clubs that wouldn’t let him use the same locker as the white players. But Sifford persevered and went on to become the first black golfer to win a PGA tournament. ~ African – Elementary School

Champion: The Story of Muhammad Ali
by Jim Haskins

New Picture Books about Black History: Champion

“I am the greatest! I am the king!” Loud and aggressive, confident and committed, Muhammad Ali was one the most inspiring as well as controversial athletes of his time. Featuring stunning illustrations and covering his entire life from childhood through his professional career to his end of life battle with Parkinson’s Syndrome, Champion is a moving tribute to the boxing legend. ~ African – Elementary School

A Child’s Introduction to African American History
by Jabari Asim

New Picture Books about Black History: A Child's Introduction to African American History

A Child’s Introduction to African American History takes a fascinating and comprehensive look at African American History. It follows the road to freedom from the slave trade to the Civil Rights era and introduces many of the trailblazers in politics, activism, sports, entertainment, music, and much more. Engaging illustrations bring these figures and events to life. Includes a removable historical timeline. ~ African – Elementary School, Middle School

*You can buy any of the books on this site from Amazon USA by clicking on the book titles or images.*
*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.*


Black History Month Series on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Welcome to our fifth annual Black History Month series! Follow along all month long as we explore the rich history and cultures of Africa and African-Americans.

You can also follow our Black History board on Pinterest:

February 2
Kid World Citizen on Multicultural Kid Blogs: MLK Day of Service

February 5
Great Family Reads: Picture Books for Black History Month

February 7
Mommy Evolution: Must Read Middle School Books for Black History Month

February 8
Colours of Us: 17 New Picture Books about Black History

February 9

February 12
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

February 13
All Done Monkey

February 15
A Crafty Arab

February 16
Hispanic Mama

Creative World of Varya on Multicultural Kid Blogs

February 19
Biracial Bookworms

February 23
Growing Up Gupta on Multicultural Kid Blogs

February 26
Crafty Moms Share

February 26
Creative World of Varya

More Children’s Books about Black History:

8 New Picture Book Biographies for Black History Month

21 Award-winning Children’s Books for Black History Month

37 Children’s Book to help talk about Racism & Discrimination

21 Picture Books for Black History Month

Famous African Americans of the Harlem Renaissance

African American Historical Fiction for Middle School

14 Children’s Books about Martin Luther King Jr.

9 Children’s Books about Nelson Mandela & Desmond Tutu

10 Children’s Books celebrating Juneteenth

Top 10 Children’s Books about Kwanzaa

Multicultural Book of the Month: Voice of Freedom

Multicultural Book of the Month: The Case of Loving

Multicultural Book of the Month: Radiant Child

Author Spotlight: Faith Ringgold 

Multicultural Disney Toys Multicultural Games & Puzzles Multicultural Barbie Dolls
Multicultural Dolls & Puppets Multicultural Play Figures Multicultural Arts & Crafts


Multicultural Children's Clothes

2 Responses

  1. Gauri
    | Reply

    Great pics!

  2. maryanne
    | Reply

    Great picks here!

Leave a Reply