African American History – Books to Read January – December

February is Black History Month.  Its a time when libraries put books featuring African Americans front and center.  The truth is we should highlight African American authors, characters and historical figures throughout the year.

For years, the amount of books featuring African Americans were sparse.  Most were written about slavery, Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement.  Thankfully, the publishing world is waking up; and books are being published that highlight a variety of African American heroines and heroes.

Fiction picture and chapter books featuring African American characters are on the rise too.  This summer, I kept the Ellray Jakes and Jada Jones series highlighted on the library’s prime real estate… the display cube.  They flew off shelves.

This month, I’ve filled my display with a variety of biographies and history books featuring African Americans.  Like Ellray and Jada, they are flying off the shelf.

Below is a work in progress of books you will want to read in 2019. I have more to add.  I hope the publishing world continues this trend.  I’ll keep this page updated with nonfiction and biographies featuring African Americans.

 

 

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Best Title Ever – Struttin’ With Some Barbecue

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I loved Struttin’ With Some Barbecue:  Lil Hardin Armstrong Becomes the First Lady of Jazz by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated Rachel Himes from the title on the front cover to the poem on the back cover.

This biography written in verse is not to be missed.  Lil Hardin Armstrong was a force.  Without her initiative, Louis Armstrong wouldn’t have become the legend he did.  Lil Hardin Armstrong deserves to be recognized as a legend too.