The world is filled with people of all shades and our job as parents is to teach our children to accept everyone for who they are. One of my favorite ways to start the conversation? Books! Diverse children’s books show children of color that there are people that look like them in the world. Having diversity in shows, toys, and books also shows all children cultural diversity, which is so important.
Children’s Books That Teach Black History & Diversity
If you’re looking for great children’s books that show diversity and the amazing individuals that have had an impact on our culture and history, here are five of my favorite children’s books.
Written by Michael Jordan’s mom and sister, this heartwarming and inspirational picture book shares Michael’s childhood basketball dreams. He almost gave up his dreams, but his parents step in and give him the invaluable lesson of patience, determination, and hard work. We love that Salt In His Shoes teaches the lesson of faith and hope and how a family can work together to make dreams come true.
This is one of the most read books in our house! Written by NBA champion and superstar LeBron James, this slam dunk picture book is inspired by his I PROMISE program that helps motivate children to always strive for greatness. In the upbeat, rhyming, and vibrant book, children are reminded that success starts with the promises we make ourselves and our community and how important school and family are.
Melba has loved music for as long as she remembers. She daydreamed about beats and music, and even hummed along to the music on the radio. After falling in love with a big, shiny trombone, Melba teaches herself how to play the instrument and by the time she’s a teenager, she has an extraordinary gift for music that pushes her into the world of jazz. In Little Melba And Her Big Trombone, we follow Melba through her journey of being a famed trombone player. Through obstacles of race and gender, this book inspires children to dream and never give up.
As a child, Bessie wanted to be in school, not helping her parents in the cotton field of Texas. She wanted to be someone significant in the world. In Fly High! we follow Bessie as she does everything she can to learn under the most challenging circumstances and in the end, her hard work pays off. Bessie becomes the first African-American to earn a pilot’s license.
Jackie Robinson lived in a time before the Civil Rights Movement when rules weren’t fair to African Americans. And even though Jackie loved baseball and was really great at it, he wasn’t allowed on the best teams because of the color of his skin. But Jackie didn’t give up. In I Am Jackie Robinson, we follow Jackie’s journey to becoming the first Black player in Major League Baseball through a timeline of key even, vibrant photos, comic-book-style illustrations, and childhood moments that inspired him.
What children’s books are you reading with your kids to teach diversity and Black history?