With stunning illustrations and inspiring stories, these books bring history to life and make it accessible for a younger audience. They share the stories of Black children (and adults) following their dreams, discovering new ways to connect with people, supporting their families, and fighting for justice.
Explore everything the Library has to offer for Black History Month, and discover more recommended reads with the Schomburg Center’s Black Liberation Reading List.
Some of these titles are also available in accessible formats including talking books (DB), braille (BR), and through Bookshare (BK), as indicated below. See The New York Public Library's Andrew Heiskell Library for more information.
The Bat Boy & His Violin
The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore
by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
The story of the National Memorial African Bookstore, founded in Harlem by Louis Michaux in 1939, as seen from the perspective of Louis Michaux, Jr., who met famous men like Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X while helping there.
Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra
Everett Anderson’s Goodbye
I Have a Dream
by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Accessible editions: BK
World languages: Français
The text of the famous speech given on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., by Martin Luther King, Jr., is complemented by paintings illustrating the ideals the civil rights leader described.
Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis
by Jabari Asim, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
Accessible editions: DB
Put in charge of the family farm's flock of chickens, John discovers that they make a wonderful congregation and preaches to his flock. They listen, content under his watchful care, riveted by the rhythm of his voice.
by Nikki Giovanni, illustrated by Bryan Collier
The story of the Black woman whose refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Alabama set in motion many of the events of the civil rights movements that resulted in the end of segregation in the South.
This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration
by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, illustrated by Bryan Collier
This visual profile of the musical child prodigy and headliner at the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest relates, through sumptuous artwork and text, the story of his childhood dream of becoming a musician against the odds.
Browse book recommendations, the Schomburg Center’s Black Liberation Reading List, more than 100 free online events, blog posts, research resources, and more as part of the Library’s Black History Month celebrations.