If you’ve been following along in my Instagram stories you’ve noticed that I’m doing a mix of homeschool and preschool with the boys. They’ve responded really well with individualized attention so we’ve started to incorporate even more topics, such as history and scripture. It’s important to us that they learn about certain history and values that may not be covered in school.
One of the most important topics we cover is black history. As a first-generation Nigerian American, I’ve had a unique position in the embracing of both black and Nigerian history. It’s important for my boys to know where they come from, the real history of the country they live in while also realizing the power in the people that look just like them. I don’t know about you, but we’re celebrating black history month all year long with black history books for preschoolers.
Teaching our children about those who came before us to make the world what it is today is so extremely important, not only for black children but for all children. Thankfully, there are many amazing books, both old and new, that teach about historical events, great people in history, famous athletes and musicians, and so much more; written in a way to capture the attention of preschool children.
Early literacy is so important so make sure to check out one of my favorite books below, black history books for preschoolers:
Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History– Vashti Harrison
New York Times bestselling author Vashti Harrison has an amazing series of books for children that highlight cultures around the world. This one specifically focuses on black men throughout history. It is beautifully illustrated and features true stories of men like Aaron Douglas, John Lewis, Alvin Ailey, James Baldwin, and more.
Little Legends: Bold Women in Black History– Vashti Harrison
Just like the previous book, Bold Women in Black History teaches about 40 women who changed the world in black history. These biographies include heroes, role models, and everyday women who did bold things—including Maya Angelou, Julie Dash, Katherine Johnson, Sojourner Truth, and Alice Ball. My favorite thing about these books are that they include both well-known and lesser-known female figures.
Our Legendary Ladies Presents Harriet Tubman– Megan Callea
This book teaches children the history of Harriet Tubman, a powerful figure in the underground railroad. It’s never too early to start teaching your children about the bravery and determination of the amazing Harriett Tubman. The content is even approved by her leading historian, Dr. Kate Clifford Larson!
We March– Shane Evans
This book teaches about the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. The march went from the Washington Monument and ended at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I have a dream” speech. Author Shane Evans combines an easy to understand account of this event along with stunning illustrations.
Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad– Ellen Levine
Henry “Box” Brown is known for mailing himself from slavery to freedom. He was one of the Underground Railroad’s most iconic runaway slaves, with his ingenious idea to mail himself in a crate to the north. This book guides readers through the story of Henry to his first day of freedom. Such an amazing story.
She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story– Audrey Vernick
This is a perfect biography for your little girls. It inspires little ones with Effa Manley’s story. Effa loved baseball (especially the New York Yankees and Babe Ruth) and would eventually grow up to be the first and only woman in the Baseball Hall of Fame. She went from a young child in Philadelphia to a groundbreaking role as a business manager and owner of the Newark Eagles.
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville– Pat Zietlow Miller
This story of a little girl named Alta, who dreams to be like three-time Olympic gold medalist Wilma Rudolph. This is a unique book for Black History Month because it is not based on a true story, but Alta has several parallels to Wilma Rudolph and helps teach children that they can do amazing things, even if they are like both Alta and Wilma, who don’t have shiny shoes to race with.
Barack Obama 101: My First Presidential-board-book– Brad M. Epstein
This board book will teach your children about our nation’s first black president. Your entire family will enjoy learning and reminiscing on Barack Obama’s history as the 44th President of the United States.
I am Martin Luther King, Jr. (Ordinary People Change the World)– Brad Meltzer
I am Martin Luther King, Jr. is an incredible picture biography book, perfect for little ones. Your kids will learn all about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s journey in hopes to create a more positive future. There is even a full series from historian and author Brad Meltzer about several great role models, including Rosa Parks and Hariett Tubman.
28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World– Charles Smith Jr.
This book is perfect for reading through daily in February because there are 28 days. Each day features a different influential figure in African -American history. Every day is short, sweet and captures all the necessary details—perfect for kids!
I encourage you—not only during Black History Month but all year long—to take time to read these books with your children and explain the importance of understanding what it took to make our world great.