Books for Black History Month

By Luis Diaz | February 12 2021 | General

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Find more on the history of Black History Month here.

Here’s a selection of titles about the history of Black America, being African American today, and essential novels by African American writers.

 

Brown Girl Dreaming

Jacqueline Woodson’s National Book Award and Newbery Honor winner is a powerful memoir that tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

 

Timelines from Black History

Black leaders, writers, civil rights activists, scientists, and more have influenced, inspired, and changed the societies we live in. This history book’s pages are filled with the stories of these historical giants and their contributions to the world.

 

Finding Langston

When eleven-year-old Langston’s father moves them from their home in Alabama to Chicago’s Bronzeville district, it feels like he’s giving up everything he loves.

 

Four Hundred Souls

Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans. The editors, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, have assembled ninety brilliant writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period of that four-hundred-year span.

 

Unsung

A new historical anthology from transatlantic slavery to the Reconstruction curated by the Schomburg Center, that makes the case for focusing on the histories of Black people as agents and architects of their own lives and ultimate liberation, with a foreword by Kevin Young

 

The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults)

Ta-Nehisi Coates details with candor the challenges of dealing with his tough-love father, the influence of his mother, and the dynamics of his extended family, including his brother “Big Bill,” who was on a very different path than Ta-Nehisi.

 

Notes from a Young Black Chef (Adapted for Young Adults)

This inspiring memoir, now adapted for young adults, chronicles Top Chef star and Forbes and Zagat 30 Under 30 phenom Kwame Onwuachi’s incredible and odds-defying fame in the food world after a tough childhood in the Bronx and Nigeria.

 


Discover more titles

Black History Month Titles for Middle School Students

Black History Month Titles for High School Students


 

#AmplifyBlackStories

 

Join us as we #AmplifyBlackStories all year long! Celebrate Black authors, leaders, creators, and more who have forged a path for themselves and others. Share the Black stories you love and discover books that can transform your world.

 

Penguin Random House is excited to partner with We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) as the inaugural sponsor of the Black Creatives Fund, which will focus on amplifying the work of Black creatives who have written books and are seeking publication. We are also partnering with WNDB on our 28th annual Creative Writing Awards to support young writers across the country from underrepresented backgrounds.

 

Learn more about #AmplifyBlackStories here.

Brown Girl Dreaming
978-0-14-751582-7
Jacqueline Woodson's multi-award winning memoir in verse--winner of the National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and a Newbery Honor--now available in paperback with new material included!
$10.99 US
Oct 11, 2016
Paperback
368 Pages
Puffin Books
Grade 5 & Up

Timelines from Black History
Leaders, Legends, Legacies
DK
978-0-7440-3909-2
Amazing visual timelines take readers through the people and the issues that have shaped Black history
$19.99 US
Jan 19, 2021
Hardcover
96 Pages
DK Children
Grades 6-12

Finding Langston
978-0-8234-4582-0
A Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book Winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction When eleven-year-old Langston's father moves them from their home in Alabama to Chicago's Bronzeville district, it feels like he's giving up everything he loves.
$7.99 US
Jan 07, 2020
Paperback
112 Pages
Holiday House
Grades 6-8

Four Hundred Souls
A Community History of African America, 1619-2019
978-0-593-13404-7
A "choral history" of African Americans covering 400 years of history in the voices of 90 writers, edited by the bestselling, National Book Award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi and award-winning historian Keisha N. Blain.
$32.00 US
Feb 02, 2021
Hardcover
528 Pages
One World
Grades 9-12 + AP/IB

Unsung
Unheralded Narratives of American Slavery & Abolition
978-0-14-313608-8
A new historical anthology from transatlantic slavery to the Reconstruction curated by the Schomburg Center, that makes the case for focusing on the histories of Black people as agents and architects of their own lives and ultimate liberation, with a foreword by Kevin Young
$22.00 US
Feb 16, 2021
Paperback
656 Pages
Penguin Classics
Grades 9-12 + AP/IB

The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults)
978-1-9848-9402-1
Adapted from the adult memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, this father-son story explores how boys become men, and quite specifically, how Ta-Nehisi Coates became Ta-Nehisi Coates.
$17.99 US
Jan 12, 2021
Hardcover
176 Pages
Delacorte Press
Grade 7 & Up

Notes from a Young Black Chef (Adapted for Young Adults)
978-0-593-17600-9
This inspiring memoir--now adapted for young adults--chronicles Top Chef star and Forbes and Zagat 30 Under 30 phenom Kwame Onwuachi's incredible--and odds-defying--rise to fame in the food world after a tough childhood in the Bronx and Nigeria.
$17.99 US
Apr 13, 2021
Hardcover
272 Pages
Delacorte Press
Grade 7 & Up