Black History Books for Kids – Part II

 

Black History Books for Kids

 

We’re celebrating Black History Month.  We’re continuing our focus on activities and black history books for kids.  This post continues selection of books for little known contributors who have had a big impact on our country and around the world.  We hope that you will add a few of these picks to your homeschool curriculum or reading list for your child.  Again, Black History isn’t really taught in our schools, however, that doesn’t mean that our children can’t learn about contributions at home.  As a result, check out our suggestions:

 

black history books for kids

 

Gordon Parks: Capturing Black and White America–  First, Gordon Parks’ white teacher told her all-black class that they would be porters and waiters. However, Gordon Parks proved her wrong.   He went to become a successful photographer and movie director.  He is known for the photo, American Gothic.  American Gothic is a portrait of a government cleaning woman named Ella Watson.  Parks was also famous for shooting a collection of evening gowns for Vogue. He developed the style of photographing his models in motion rather than poised.  He was also a Hollywood film director.  Ages 4 – 8.

 

black history month books for kids

 

 

Preaching to the Chickens  – Next, this book is about Civil Rights Leader and Congressman John Lewis. John wants to be a preacher when he grows up.  The family puts John in charge of the flock of chicken on the farm.  Instead of waiting until he grew up, he preached to the chickens.  John Lewis went on the become a civil rights icon, marching with Martin Luther King Jr.  Ages 7 – 10.

 

 

black history books for kids


Hidden Figures – Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math.  They were geniuses.  These ladies provided calculations for NASA and America’s first journey into space. They were known as NASA computers.  These ladies broke down barriers and became successful mathematicians at NASA and in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) career field.  Ages 4 – 8.

 

black history books for kids

 

 

A Dance Like Starlight: This book is about the first African-American prima ballerina, Janet Collins. Janet was born in Harlem in the 1950’s.  She dreamed of becoming a ballerina doing pirouettes and grande jetes.  She became the first African American prima ballerina and opened the door for African American girls across the country.  Ages 6 – 9.

 

 

black hisory books for kids

 

 

Take a Picture of Me James Van Der Zee –  James Van Der Zee decided to save his money to buy a camera.  He took pictures of his family, classmates and anyone who would allow him to take their pictures.  By the fifth grade, James became the school photographer and unofficial town photographer.  He eventually moved to New York City where there were more opportunities.  However, his boss told him that nobody would want a photo taken by a black photographer.  James proved him wrong.  He opened his own studio.  He became famous by taking photos of politicians such as Marcus Garvey, performers including Florence Mills, Bill -Bojangles- Robinson, and Mamie Smith.  Ages 7 – 11.

 

black history books for kids

 

 

My Story, My Dance – Last, Robert Battle, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  Robert wore braces on his legs when he was a child.  With support from his family and teachers, Robert exceled in martial arts and ballet. He was motivated by Alvin Ally’s dance – Revelations.  In 2011, Robert Battle became the Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  They have performed in seventy-one countries on six continents.  Ages 7 – 10.

Finally, we hope that you will expose your child to a few of these facts.  Furthermore, we hope that you add a few black history books for kids to their reading list or homeschool curriculum.  Additionally, you may also like: Black History Books for Kids – Part I.

 

 

Unique Black History Books for Kids – Part I

 

 

This month we’re celebrating Black History Month. Our focus is on activities and black history books for kids. Unfortunately, many of our schools limit black history to Martin Luther King, George Washington Carver and Frederick Douglass. However, there are so many more African Americans who have contributed to our great country.  But, we know little or nothing of them.

This post focuses on little known contributors who have had a big impact on our country and around the world. Pick out a few books and add them to your homeschool curriculum or reading list for your child.  Because Black History isn’t really taught in our schools, however, that doesn’t mean that our children can’t learn about contributions at home.

 

black history books for kids

 

The Youngest Marcher – Additionally, black history books for kids should include the story of 9 year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks.  Audrey was the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963.  The book explains how Audrey Hendricks stood up to segregation, and how she marched with thousands of fellow students.  It demonstrates that you’re never to young to speak up.  Appropriate for ages 5 – 10.

 

black history books for kids

 

Ellen’s Broom – This book tells the history of Jumping the Broom.  Slaves were not allowed to marry until slavery was abolished. As a result, couples jumped over a broom together into marriage.  After slaves became free, they were able to go to the court house and register the marriage that took place in their heart.

Ella is the star in the book.  She heads to the court house with her parents, and brings the broom that had hung over the fireplace that symbolized their marriage.  They were free, and could legally register as husband and wife.  Ella wanted to hang on to the tradition, so her parents jumps the broom again.  Appropriate for ages 5 – 8.

black history books for kids

Between the Lines
– Ernie Barnes was a child in the segregated South.  Ernie loved art; however, football was his ticket to college.  Ernie was 6-foot-3-inch frame in high school, so a football coach to took steps to recruit him.  Ernie visited museums for the first time when he was in college.  None of the museums represented black artists.

Although Ernie was successful playing professional football, his true love remained art.  So, after his football career came to an end he approached the American Football League/National Football League about becoming their official artist. Ernie went on to become a renowned artist.  The television show Good Times showed many of Ernie Barnes paintings as J.J.’s.  Additionally, his paintings were shown on  Columbo, The Hughleys, The Wayans Bros., Wife Swap, and Soul Food.  They were also used in the movies Drumline and Boyz N The Hood.

 

black history books for kids

We’ve all heard of Mozart, right?  Than Before There Was Mozart is a must read.  This inspiring story tells how Joseph Boulogne—a black man, the only child of a black slave and her white master, becomes “the most accomplished man in Europe.”  He was a master of the violin and went on to write his own operas.  He played first violin with a Paris orchestra and eventually became the conductor. By 30, he rose to star level , and was the first musician of color to play for royalty and a renowned composer.  Appropriate for ages 6 – 8.

 

black history books for kids

Fancy Party Gowns – Finally, another book that should be added to black history books for kids is the picture book about designer Ann Cole Lowe.  Ann Cole Lowe was a little-known African-American fashion designer.  Although she encountered personal and social problems pursuing her passion, she went on to make beautiful gowns and became one of society’s top designers.  Eventually she designed for the elite.  She created the dress worn by Academy Award winner Olivia de Havilland in 1947 and Jacqueline Bouvier’s wedding to John F. Kennedy in 1953.  Appropriate for ages 4 – 8.

We hope that you will expose your child to a few of these facts and add a few black history books for kids to their reading list or homeschool curriculum.   You may also like:  African American Inventions Word Search.

 

 

Visiting the Martin Luther King Childhood Home

Martin Luther King

 

First, in honor of Black History Month I wanted to honor Dr. Martin Luther King (MLK).   I wanted to share a few pictures that I took when I visited the Martin Luther King childhood home and the MLK Center for Non-Violent Social Change in Atlanta, Ga.  What a memorable trip.  Next, this is a picture of my sister and me sitting on the front porch of the home Dr. King grew up in.   Additionally, I will always treasure this picture.  Most importantly, I will cherish the feelings that I had when I stepped upon that porch.  It literally sent chills through me.

Witnessing history was truly an emotional experience, especially since the Civil Rights movement impacted me and my family significantly. Sharing it with my sister put the icing on the cake. We always have a good time together.

 

 

 

The home has been beautifully maintained and has lots of character.  It is actually quite large, four bedrooms, dining room, kitchen, study, parlor/living room, a bathroom and a huge backyard. I love the wrap around porch.

 

 

Martin Luther King wagon

 

This is the farm wagon that carried Dr. King’s coffin from his Ebenezer Baptist Church to Morehouse College, his alma mater, for the second service.  The wagon was pulled by 2 mules through Atlanta for 3.5 miles.  If everyone remembers, Mrs. King walked with her children ahead of the wagon in the funeral procession.

 

Martin Luther King

 

This is Dr. King’s final resting place at the King Center in Atlanta.  His wife Coretta Scott King was laid to rest beside him.

 

Martin Luther King
Last, across from the Kings’ Crypt is the eternal flame.  There is also the Civil Right Walk of Fame. Below are a few prints from the walk which include Dr. Maya Angelo, Sidney Poitier, Magic Johnson, and Maynard Jackson.  Maynard Jackson was the first black mayor in Atlanta.  My brother, Dr. Robert Holmes, wrote Maynard Jackson’s biography.
Finally, I hope that you enjoyed the photos of Dr. Martin Luther King childhood home.  Furthermore, I hope you remember and honor what Dr. King dedicated his life doing.   Be kind to and love one another, and take the time to learn something new during Black History Month.  Additionally, you may also like:  African American Inventors