5 Children's Books Every Black Kid Should Own

5 Children's Books Every Black Kid Should Own

Once upon a time, I was a snaggle-toothed, bright-eyed kid full of curiosity and wonder. As a child, or more specifically a little black girl, I subconsciously yearned for anything that would reaffirm my dark skin, my nappy hair, or even my history. In the rare occasions (mainly at school) when I played with white dolls, or read picture books full of white little boys and girls, I felt a dissonance within myself. My hair was not pin straight and it definitely did not move when I shook my head (thanks mom for a decade of cornrows)! In school I only learned about African American history through the context of slavery. Thankfully, my mom made it a point to make my toy and book collection at home blackity black!
 
Below are 5 children's book every black kid should read or have read to them. To see ourselves and our stories represented is paramount to a black kid's development. Whether it's stories about natural hair, skin tones, or friendship, take your pick and let's start reading!
1. Happy to be Be Nappy, by bell hooks
A personal favorite of mine. I remember my mama reading this aloud to me and it definitely impacted the way I view my hair to this day. This classic children's book celebrates the variety of black hair. Let's be happy to be nappy!
2. Little Legends: Exceptional Men In Black History by Vashti Harrison
These two children's picture books tell the stories of impactful leaders in black history. Spark inspiration in the next generation of leaders in our community!
3. I Am Enough, by Grace Byers
Dive into this beautifully illustrated book that encourages young children to love themselves, and others.
4. Black Is a Rainbow Color, by Angela Joy
This beautifully illustrated book doubles as an ode to the complexity and diversity that is blackness as well as a black history book! The book is a powerful celebration of our culture and legacy.
5. Sulwe, by Lupita Nyong'o
Sulwe has skin the color of the night sky, and she desperately wishes that her skin was light and bright like her family's. This whimsical and powerful story inspires children to see their own unique beauty and teaches us that real beauty is found within.
I hope that you've found something that conjured up an image of a child in your life that could use one of these books. Happy reading and stay tuned for more recommendations!
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