11 book titles empowering black children to see themselves
It’s been a heavy week.
The injustices that black people continue facing in this country have resulted in social unrest across the nation — all during a pandemic at that.
It’s shameful what we’re driven to in a fight for basic human decency.
I wanted to share some special book titles that my daughter enjoys. My babies — 3-years-old and 9-months-old — are too young for the hard discussion we plan to one day have with them, but books are a great vehicle for talking to children about racism, no matter their age.
Here are a few of our favorite books that allow black children to see themselves in one way or another:
- The Day You Begin is a heartwarming story that addresses how we can embrace the strength of our differences. I say “our” favorites, but this is really one of my top recommendations.
- Sulwe empowers us to be accepting of and kind to our skin tone.
- The King of Kindergarten encourages confidence in our youth — for the first day of school and beyond.
- With colorful pages filled with unapologetic blackness, Princess Hair explores the beauty and versatility of our hairstyles.
- The books in the Lola series are always some of our top choices at the library. Lola is a black girl with bantu knots that goes on adventures from school and the library to getting a cat and a garden. Fun stuff!
- I Like Myself is a quirky picture book that helps children accept themselves as is — no matter what others have to say.
- Ada Twist Scientist is a delightfully imaginative story about a brainy little girl who looks to science to answer life’s questions — this one in particular about a bad smell!
- The critically-acclaimed Hair Love showcases a beautiful relationship between a girl, her father and her natural hair, but the story goes even deeper than that.
- Not Quite Snow White is an inspiring book that highlights the magic of self-confidence for imperfect girls everywhere.
- Mae Among the Stars honors the first black woman to travel into space.
- The Little Leaders series features bold art and bold stories about trailblazers who paved the way for us and our children. When my daughter takes a special interest in dance, gymnastics, photography, science, space and everything in between, she can find a Little Leader to read about in this book.
There are a few ways to ensure your child keeps books in their life despite COVID-19. Many libraries are offering curbside pickup. Penguin Kids hosts story time daily on Facebook live at 11:15 EST. And our favorite First Lady Michelle Obama reads live via PBS Kids’ Facebook page on Mondays.
What are some of your favorite books and how have you continued reading amid the pandemic? How important is it for your children to see themselves in the books they read?
Take care and be well.