42 Picture Books Celebrating Black History and Identity

42 Picture Books Celebrating Black History and Identity

These picture books celebrate black history, and black characters living their lives, fighting for change and equal rights, and improving life for everyone.

42 Picture Books Celebrating Black History and Identity

Celebrating Black History and Identity

If you are interested in children’s picture books as I am, you will have noticed the increase (thankfully) in titles about black history and identity.

No matter the cultural makeup of your school, your students need access to books that educate and counter racism and prejudice. Black children need to see themselves represented in books, and other children need to read about the experiences and lives of other cultures.

There are over 40 picture book recommendations in the list below. The books explore many aspects of black history and culture, including:

  • Role models who fought for change and equal rights.
  • Scientists and inventors who improved all our lives.
  • People who experience racism, prejudice, and intolerance.
  • Positive relationships that inspire and empower.

Black History Month

Books with black characters like the ones below need to be accessible to students all year round. Black History Month, observed in America during February and in the UK in October offers the opportunity to celebrate the history, art and culture of people often under-represented in literacy and media.

You will find resources below the suggested books which provide ways to teach and discuss racism, slavery, and prejudice in the classroom.

Children’s Books Embracing Black History and Identity

Visit Embrace Race to read more on choosing picture books with diverse characters.


BBC: Black and British: A Forgotten History
BBC Teach: Black History Month – Teacher Resources (Primary & Secondary)
The Children’s University of Manchester: Black History
Edmentum: Black History Month Resource Pack
GCHQ: Black History Month Schools Resource Pack
National Education Union: Black History Matters
Scholastic: Black History Month Lesson Plans and Teaching Resources
Stonewall Scotland: Black History Month – lesson plans for primary schools
TeacherVision: Black History Month Activities
TeachWire: Black History Month UK 2020 – KS2 lesson plan, posters, resources & ideas for primary schools
Teaching Tolerance: Black History Month: Teaching the Complete History

These videos can be used in the classroom for different ages and understanding. Some are videos have watched recently and learned from. Take the time to watch the videos, whether in your classroom or for yourself.