2024 Black History Month: African Americans and the Arts - Kids

Celebrate Black History Month 2024's theme African American and the Arts for kids.

Updated January 16, 2024
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Soul food Sunday
Bingham, Winsome
On Sundays, everyone gathers at Granny's for Soul Food. But today, I don't go to the backyard or the great room. I follow Granny instead. "You're a big boy now," Granny says. "Time for you to learn." At Granny's, Sunday isn't Sunday...
Rock, Rosetta, rock! Roll, Rosetta, roll! : presenting sister Rosetta Tharpe, the godmother of rock & roll
Bolden, Tonya
"A profile as bold and vivacious as the singer herself." --Kirkus (starred review) "Terrific for all collections that want to inspire the musically inclined and highlight innovative pioneers." --Booklist (starred review) "Bolden uses alliteration, assonance, repetition...
Beautiful shades of brown : the art of Laura Wheeler Waring
Churnin, Nancy
Growing up in the late 19th century, Laura Wheeler Waring didn't see any artists who looked like her. She didn't see any paintings of people who looked like her, either. As a young woman studying art in Paris, she found inspiration in the works of Matisse and Gaugin to paint the people she knew best...
Music is a rainbow
Collier, Bryan
The music turned into color and light and filled the room.   A young boy remembers quietly watching his father read the paper and sip a cup of coffee. He remembers his sweet momma, who lovingly pressed away the wrinkles on his clothes. Then one day, his...
Black ballerinas : my journey to our legacy
Copeland, Misty
From New York Times bestselling and award-winning author and American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland comes an illustrated nonfiction collection celebrating dancers of color who have influenced her on and off the stage. As a young girl living in a motel with...
Bunheads
Copeland, Misty
Instant New York Times bestselling series opener inspired by prima ballerina and author Misty Copeland's own early experiences in ballet. From prima ballerina and New York Times bestselling author Misty Copeland comes the story of a young Misty, who discovers her...
Okra stew : a Gullah Geechee family celebration
Daise, Natalie
This rhythmic, joyous picture book from Natalie Daise, the co-star of the hit Nickelodeon show "Gullah Gullah Island," celebrates a special day of father-son cooking, and serves up a love letter to food, family, Gullah Geechee culture, and tradition--and includes the author's own recipe...
The green piano : how little me found music
Flack, Roberta
This autobiographical picture book by the multiple Grammy Award-winning singer Roberta Flack recounts her childhood in a home surrounded by music and love- it all started with a beat-up piano that her father found in a junkyard, repaired, and painted green. Growing up in a Blue...
We can : portraits of power
Gordon, Tyler
"When I was born, the doctors told my mom that if I did survive I would have lots of health problems and be blind, deaf and severely mentally delayed . . . Boy were they wrong!" --Tyler Gordon Fifteen-year-old Tyler Gordon's journey from a regular kid growing up in San Jose,...
Legacy : women poets of the Harlem Renaissance
Grimes, Nikki
From Children's Literature Legacy Award-winning author Nikki Grimes comes a feminist-forward new collection of poetry celebrating the little-known women poets of the Harlem Renaissance--paired with full-color, original art from today's most talented female African-American illustrators.
Ablaze with color : a story of painter Alma Thomas
Harvey, Jeanne Walker
Celebrate the life-changing power of art in this inspiring and stunningly illustrated picture book biography of American artist Alma Thomas. Meet an incredible woman who broke down barriers throughout her whole life and is now known as one of the most...
Black artists shaping the world
Jackson, Sharna
Written by award-winning Black children's author Sharna Jackson, this engaging book introduces young readers to twenty-six contemporary artists from Africa and of the African diaspora, working in everything from painting, sculpture, and drawing to ceramics, installation art, and sound art. ...
You gotta meet Mr. Pierce! : the storied life of folk artist Elijah Pierce
Lee, Chiquita Mullins
A picture book biography about the barber shop of woodcarver Elijah Pierce, recipient of the highest folk art honor in the United States. "Creeeeak!" goes the screen door to self-taught artist Elijah Pierce's barbershop art studio. A young boy walks in for an ordinary...
Hip-hop hustle
Maddox, Jake
Chery lives to dance. She has her own hip-hop dance crew and a signature move that's a surefire showstopper. But when her crew is forced to break up, Chery is faced with joining her school's hip-hop dance team. Trouble is, Chery's not like most dance hopefuls who have formal training. She moves to...
Only the best : the exceptional life and fashion of Ann Lowe
Messner, Kate
An inspiring picture book biography about the amazing Ann Lowe--the first nationally-known African American fashion designer. A careful snip, a delicate fold. Fabric the color of new petals. Skirts that flare like upside-down blossoms....
Hip-hop Lollipop
Montanari, Susan McElroy
In this lyrical read-aloud filled with rhythm and rhyme and illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner Brian Pinkney, follow a little girl as she dances her way to bedtime. Mama says, "Lollipop, stop! Stop! Jumping snapping nonstop." Arms and shoulders pop...
Augusta Savage : the shape of a sculptor's life
Nelson, Marilyn
This powerful biography in poems​ tells the life of Augusta Savage, the trailblazing artist and pillar of the Harlem Renaissance. A Claudia Lewis Award Winner for Poetry by the Bank Street College of Education  A Black Caucus ALA Children...
Chef Edna : Queen of southern cooking, Edna Lewis
Noel, Melvina
Edna Lewis loved to cook. Growing up on a farm in Freetown, Virginia, she learned the value of fresh, local, seasonal food from her Mama Daisy, as well as how to measure ingredients for biscuits using coins and to listen closely to her cakes to know when they were done. Edna carried these traditions...
Just Jerry : how drawing shaped my life
Pinkney, Jerry
An inspiring memoir of a Caldecott-winning artist and one of the most acclaimed children's book illustrators of all time, sharing the story of a young artist who finds the courage to follow his passion against all odds. * "A moving work from a...
There was a party for Langston
Reynolds, Jason
A Caldecott Honor Book A Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jason Reynolds's debut picture book is a snappy, joyous ode to Word King, literary genius, and glass-ceiling smasher Langston Hughes and...
Jake makes a world : Jacob Lawrence, a young artist in Harlem
Rhodes-Pitts, Sharifa
Award-winning creators Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts and Christopher Myers's picture bookJake Makes a World follows the creative adventures of the young Jacob Lawrence as he finds inspiration in the vibrant colors and characters of his community in Harlem. ...
Ellington was not a street
Shange, Ntozake.
Featuring luminous art by Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator Kadir Nelson, this reflective picture book by poet Ntozake Shange looks back at the great Black thinkers and innovators who visited her father's house. A close-knit group of Black innovators formed their own...
The artivist
Smith, Nikkolas
An inspiring picture book about how children can combine art and activism in their daily lives. "They say I'm an artist. They say I'm an activist." When a young boy realizes the scope of inequities in the wider world, he's seized with the urge to do more. He...
Radiant child : the story of young artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
Steptoe, Javaka
Winner of the Randolph Caldecott Medal and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Jean-Michel Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocketed to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art world had ever seen. But before that, he...
Holding her own : the exceptional life of Jackie Ormes
Todd, Traci N.
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book * Robert F. Sibert Honor Book An evocative picture book biography about the prolific life of Jackie Ormes, whose groundbreaking cartoons became some of the first empowering depictions of Black women in America! Jackie Ormes made...
Nina : a story of Nina Simone
Todd, Traci N.
A 2022 Coretta Scott King Book Award Honoree!   This luminous, defining picture book biography illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Christian Robinson, tells the remarkable and inspiring story of acclaimed singer Nina Simone and her bold, defiant, and exultant legacy. ...
Maya's song
Watson, Renée
From bestselling, award-winning creators Renée Watson and Bryan Collier comes a stunningly crafted picture book chronicling the life of poet and activist Maya Angelou. This unforgettable picture book introduces young readers to the life and work of Maya Angelou, whose words...
Oprah Winfrey
Watson, Renée
Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger, a chapter book series about women who stood up, spoke up and rose up against the odds--including Oprah Winfrey! In this chapter book biography by Newbery Honor and...
The roots of rap : 16 bars on the 4 pillars of hip-hop
Weatherford, Carole Boston
Explore the roots of rap in this stunning, rhyming, triple-timing picture book! "Carole Boston Weatherford, once again, delivers a resounding testament and reminder, that hip-hop is a flavorful slice of larger cultural cake. And to be hip-hop-to truly be it-we must remember...
Jump at the sun : the true life tale of unstoppable storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston
Williams, Alicia
From the Newbery Honor-winning author of Genesis Begins Again comes a shimmering picture book that shines the light on Zora Neale Hurston, the extraordinary writer and storycatcher extraordinaire who changed the face of American literature. Zora was a girl who hankered for...
Hip-Hop : the beat of America
Williams, Jarrett
MUSICAL REVOLUTION SWEEPS NATION AND BEYOND How did a bunch of young people from the inner city create a genre of music that became a global phenomenon? From its humble origins at house parties in the Bronx, where DJs mixed old records to create new sounds, charismatic MCs let their...
Young, gifted and black
Wilson, Jamia
"...to be revisited again and again...The candy-colored pages and straightforward stories are hard to resist..." -The New York Times "...diverse collection of iconic figures...vibrantly illustrated...beautifully crafted volume..." -Kirkus Reviews, Starred...
Young, gifted and black too
Wilson, Jamia
Young, Gifted and Black Too celebrates the lives of 52 more leaders, heroes, sportspeople and artists of colour from around the world.

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