Black History Month Book Selections to Inspire!

Thumbnail BHM books Shannon

Shannon Patterson, the Program Manager for our SNUG Program, compiled an inspiring list of books for Black History Month, ranging from children's and young adult selections to a classic, non-fiction and an autobiography. Please share the list, read, and share your thoughts this month and throughout the year! 


The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, 2020      

This book is an immersive journey through American history. Dramatic, beautifully written, and compulsively readable, the novel brims from page to page with grand storytelling and heart. Spanning two hundred years, it takes an intimate look at race, feminism, love, and family as told by a line of unforgettable Black women from America's South. It focuses on a fictional African American family in Georgia, beginning before the state was Georgia.

Read the full review on


When You Look Like Us

by Pamela N. Harris, 2021   

This timely, gripping teen novel is about a boy who must take up the search for his sister when she goes missing from a neighborhood where Black girls’ disappearances are too often overlooked, from debut author Pamela Harris.

Read more at Kindred Spirits



by Tarana Burke, 2021   

Unbound is the story of an inimitable woman’s inner strength and perseverance, all in pursuit of bringing healing to her community and the world around her, but it is also a story of possibility, of empathy, of power, and of the leader, we all have inside ourselves. In sharing her path toward healing and saying "Me too," Tarana reaches out a hand to help us all on our journeys.

Read more at Empower Her Story


Lies about Black People: How to Combat Racist Stereotypes and Why It Matters

by Omekongo Dibinga 2023

In this honest and welcoming book, diversity and inclusion expert, professor, and award-winning speaker Dr. Omekongo Dibinga argues that we must embark on a massive undertaking to re-educate ourselves on the stereotypes that have proven harmful, and too often deadly, to the Black community. Through personal anecdotes, nuanced historical inquiry, and engaging analysis of modern-day events and their historical context and implications, this invaluable guide will break down some of the most powerful lies told about Black people. Whether those lies are pernicious, like the idea that “most black people are criminals,” or seemingly innocuous, like the notion that “black people can’t swim,” all of the lies and stereotypes combatted in this book are rooted in hate and continue to undermine not only Black people in America, but our society as a whole. Beyond combatting these harmful lies, Dr. Dibinga also provides readers with powerful insights on our racial vocabulary, reflective hands-on exercises that will allow readers to confront and change their own biases, and an honest discussion about how to move beyond misplaced shame and use privilege to serve others.

Read more at Rowman & Littlefield


The Day You Begin

by Jaqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael Lopez, 2018

There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody knows you yet, but somehow you do it.

When Angelina, a young African-American girl, enters her classroom, she notices that her skin, clothes, and the curl of her hair are different than her classmates. When a boy in her class named Rigoberto tells the class he’s from Venezuela, he notices how the class laughs because they don’t understand him. At a lunch table, an Asian girl notices how her classmates wrinkle their noses at her kimchi. On the playground, a small white boy notices that no one picks him to be on their team. But all this is about to change for these young characters in The Day You Begin.

Read more or buy at Social Justice Books


Broken Crayons Still Color

by Toni Collier, 2023

Avery has big emotions and bubbling anxieties about changes in her life. When her crayons break as she scribbles furiously, she discovers that they have personalities and feelings too! And they can show her how to use her love of coloring to manage scary, overwhelming feelings and embrace curiosity and joy. As Avery follows the crayons' advice, gets creative, and chooses bravery and positive thinking, she discovers that God can use her to make beautiful things, even with broken crayons.

Learn more about the author and the book


You Grow Girl

by Lynnette Brooks and Brooklynn Caldwell, 2018

Nicole is fresh off of summer break, and having a tough time adjusting to her new life as a Jr. High School student. Finding classes, juggling homework, and making new friends all seems like too much for her. Will she be able to adjust and handle it on her own, or ask for help, even if she doesn't want to? Join Nicole as she blossoms in YOU GROW GIRL.

Read more or buy on Amazon


The Hate You Give

by Angie Thomas, 2017

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Learn more about the author and the book