Kids’ Books About Amazing Black Women in History
by Tia Guerrier
While facing challenges and adversity because of their race, Black women throughout history have persevered. These picture books tell the wondrous stories of amazing Black women like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Shirley Chisholm, and Ketanji Brown Jackson. They celebrate how women like world champions Venus and Serena Williams made history despite the many obstacles in their way. Inspire your young readers with these must-reads that exemplify the importance of having courage, staying persistent, and imagining possibilities.
All Rise: The Story of Ketanji Brown
This inspirational picture book shares the trailblazing path of Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black female Supreme Court Justice. Carole Boston Weatherford details her path of excellence and overcoming adversity, and her powerful story will encourage ambitious young readers. Jackson became one of the most impressive role models of our time!
Sisters and Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams
Aspiring young tennis champions undoubtedly know of Venus and Serena Williams but may not know how they became household names. This awe-inspiring picture book biography takes readers through their journey as two sisters with a strong bond, from humble beginnings to becoming tennis superstars who made a remarkable impact on sports history.
Saving American Beach
Get to know the often unsung story of MaVynee Betsch, an opera singer turned environmental activist. Famously named "Beach Lady," MaVynee worked tirelessly to protect the legacy of American Beach, one of the few beaches where Black Americans could go during the Jim Crow era. With gorgeous illustrations by Caldecott Honoree Ekua Holmes and vivid descriptions of this fantastic woman's life, Saving American Beach will enchant readers of all ages.
Before She Was Harriet
This spellbinding picture book will transport young readers back in time to learn how Harriet Tubman became such a remarkable historical figure. In beautiful poetic verse, author Lesa Cline-Ransome weaves together the many roles Harriet played in her lifetime — from little Araminta, who could read the stars, to Moses leading hundreds to freedom — compounding in a deeply impactful story of a true hero.
Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb!
Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb! introduces young readers to the extraordinary life of Shirley Chisholm and her many accomplishments. Follow her journey to becoming the first Black woman in Congress and the first Black person and woman to seek the Democratic nomination to be the president of the United States. Her can-do attitude led her to create many enduring programs and policies that shaped our country’s history.
Former American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland uplifts aspiring ballerinas with a tale of a young dancer with dreams of greatness. Though unsure of her abilities, Misty is blessed with grace and guided through her doubts by those who taught her to dance like a "Firebird."
Little Rosetta and the Talking Guitar
This exciting biography tells the story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the mother of rock'n'roll! Learn about Rosetta's childhood and the musical community that inspired the exhilarating guitar licks that paved the foundation for modern electric guitar music.
Molly, by Golly!
The story of the brave heroine Molly Williams is a page-turning adventure for firefighter lovers! In this picture book, young readers get to know Volunteer Number 11, who answered the call during a terrible snowstorm and became the first female firefighter in history!
The Oldest Student
The Oldest Student chronicles how Mary Walker learned to read when she was 116 years old. Due to the lack of educational access for Black Americans before the civil rights movement, Mary did not earn an education but never lost her will to learn. Kids will love reading this inspiring story of persistence.
Mae Makes a Way
Perfect for little entrepreneurs, Mae Makes a Way tells the story of fashion designer and civil rights icon Mae Reeves. She became a successful entrepreneur by creating her hat designs, advocating for the rights of Black Americans, and helping women look and feel their best!