Black Characters in Children’s Books

This video articulates why representation matters in children’s literature, showcasing three excellent children’s books about joyful, self-determined, and unique Black protagonists. Originally created for Black History Month, this video can be used year-round to help teachers, childcare providers, and parents find stories that matter.

Video Transcription: Black Characters in Children’s Books

Celebrate Black history with children of all ages, by reading stories about Black leaders and change-makers.

For centuries Black Americans have overcome adversity and made their mark on the world. And it's important to celebrate those themes in children's literature.

It's equally important to depict Black joy, ease, and comfort, and not just stories of overcoming oppression.

Books that center relatable and casual Black characters, help positively shift the image Black children see of themselves.

Here are three children's books that you should consider adding to your rotation year-round.

Hair Love is a beautifully illustrated story, about a father giving his daughter an extra special hairstyle. The story positively depicts the bond between father and daughter, an ode to self-confidence, and the beauty of Black hair.

Gabe the Mighty is a series of books, that are designed to tell the imaginative stories of boys of color. These books are dedicated to painting a positive self-image for these young boys, and gives them an opportunity to fall in love with reading. In this installment of Gabe the Mighty, Gabe must clean his room while also fighting off imaginary messy minions.

Grace for President tells a story of a young girl's ambition to become president of the United States. To prepare for her career in politics, she decides to run for class president at her elementary school. The story centers Grace's tenacity and civic-mindedness, while also educating the reader on the American electoral college system.

Black history is not just the past. It's happening right now. By meeting the need for more Black stories, we're elevating future Black change-makers, and their accomplishments.

 

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