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Books For Kids: African American History

Not Just For February

From the slave trade to emancipation and Jim Crow to Civil Rights, these books for elementary school children cover major historical milestones not just for African Americans, but also for our nation.


Sugar Changed the WorldSugar Changed the World : A Story of Spice, Magic, Slavery, Freedom, and Science

By Mark Aronson and Marina Budhos

A broad look at the history of the sugar trade and how it influenced the slave trade.




Escape from SlaveryEscape from Slavery: Five Journeys to Freedom

By Doreen Rappaport

These are five true stories about slaves who escaped through the Underground Railroad to freedom.





Ben and the Emancipation Proclamation

Ben and the Emancipation Proclamation

By Pat Sherman

Benjamin Holmes was a slave in Charleston who broke the law and taught himself to read. He used this clandestine skill to read Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to his fellow slaves.



The Civil War

The Civil War

By Aaron Rosenberg

A comprehensive look at the Civil War and six people who played vastly different, but important, roles in it: President Abraham Lincoln, freed slave Frederick Douglass, nurse Clara Barton, General George McClellan, Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and photographer Mathew Brady.



Miles to go for freedom

Miles to Go for Freedom: Segregation and Civil Rights in the Jim Crow Years

Linda Barrett Osborne

Photos, interviews, and essays on the hardships that many African Americans faced in the years after the Civil War.




The Great MigrationThe Great Migration: Journey to the North

By Eloise Greenfield

Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of black families migrated north during the Jim Crow years to find more opportunities and a better life for themselves, settling in areas like Chicago, Detroit, and Washington, DC. This collection of poems explores the journey that so many families made at the turn of the 20th century.



We've got a jobWe’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March

By Cynthia Levinson

Just when the Civil Rights movement was losing steam, children and young people brought the cause back to life with a protest march in Birmingham, Alabama. This book explores this nearly forgotten piece of American history, one that reinvigorated the Civil Rights movement after hundreds of children were sent to jail.


Our children can soarOur Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change

By Michelle Cook

An inspirational look at the people who fought for freedom for all.




I lay my stitches downI Lay My Stitches Down

By Cynthia Grady

This beautifully illustrated book contains poems portraying different African American experiences throughout history.




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