I went over celebrating Black History Month with younger children here, and in that post covered some of the why and how to make it meaningful, but not overwhelming. Much of the same advice applies for older children as well, its just the resources change. While some older kids may still love the picture books, for most it may be time to move onto chapter books and more in depth learning and discussion. Don’t shy away from the hard conversations and topics! Let your tween or teen continue to know you are a resource they can go to.
For teens, you can also draw a lot of connections to their everyday life. Are they a music lover? Dig into the ways Black musicians have shaped every kind of music in America. Big into sports? Learn about segregated leagues such as the Negro Baseball Leagues and the players who first integrated each sport. Do they enjoy science, literature, history, or other topics? Let them discover Black excellence in the area of their choosing.
So as in the other post, here’s a walk through Black American history in books for children 11+. The number of titles I could include here is truly astronomical. So realize, this is just a sprinkling of what is out there. Hit up your library or local book store as well to find books that really spark interest in your child. If you’d like to order online, clicking on the picture of each book will take you to a page to do so.
All three of these books cover the true brutality of slavery in America. I recommend reading these along with your child so that you can process together.
Set this one out on the kitchen table and take turns picking a person each night over dinner to read and talk about.
These books offer a look into the time period post-slavery and into the Civil Rights Movement using compelling stories that will keep young readers engaged.
For more contemporary books about race that your young adult will want to dig into, check out these options.
The reading and learning doesn’t have to stop after February either! Keeping your home full of books that cover a diverse range of topics, authors, and styles is helpful for all of us, but especially for young minds whose understanding of the world is being shaped daily.