Skip to main content

African-American History


Books about African-American History, from The Underground Railroad to The Freedom Marches.






Pinkney, Andrea Davis
JE PINKN

Illustrations and rhythmic text recall the December, 1955, bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.
Anderson, Laurie Halse
J ANDER

After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.
Sanders, Nancy I.
J973.0496 SANDE

"Using the alphabet to introduce its contents, this book includes topic such as abolitionists, cowboys, Harlem Renaissance, and Kwanzaa"--Provided by publisher.
Lyons, Kelly Starling
JE LYONS

Ellen has always known that the broom hanging on her family's cabin wall is a special symbol of her parents' wedding during slave days, so she proudly carries it to the courthouse when the marriage becomes legal.
Bausum, Ann
J323.092 BAUSU

Freedom Riders compares and contrasts the childhoods of John Lewis and James Zwerg in a way that helps young readers understand the segregated experience of our nation's past. It shows how a common interest in justice created the convergent path that enabled these young men to meet as Freedom Riders on a bus journey south.
Walker, Sally M.
JE WALKE

Henry Brown copes with slavery by singing, but after his wife and children are sold away he is left with only his freedom song, which gives him strength when friends put him in a box and mail him to a free state.
Shange, Ntozake
J811 SHANG

A collection of poems brings to life the treacherous journey of the travelers on the Underground Railroad, in a universal story about the human need to be free.
Pinkney, Andrea Davis
J973.0496 PINKN

Presents the stories of ten African-American men from different eras in American history, organized chronologically to provide a scope from slavery to the modern day.
Nelson, Kadir
J937.0496 NELSO

An simple introduction to African-American history, from Revolutionary-era slavery up to the election of President Obama.
Hamilton, Virginia
J398.2 HAMIL

Collection of 19 folktales, legends, and true stories celebrating the heroic cunning, patience, and courage of African-American women and girls.
Igus, Toyomi
J780.89 IGUS

Chronicles and captures poetically the history, mood, and movement of African American music.
Davis, Kenneth C.
J306.362 DAVIS

"An examination of American slavery through the true stories of five enslaved people who were considered the property of some of our best-known presidents"-- Provided by publisher.
Partridge, Elizabeth
J323.1196 PARTR

This book recounts the three months of protest that took place before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s landmark march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery to promote equal rights and help African-Americans earn the right to vote.
Rappaport, Doreen
JB K585RA

A picture book biography introduces the ideas and accomplishments of a gifted and influential speaker by using some of his own words to tell the story.
Weatherford, Carole Boston
JB T79WE

Describes Tubman's spiritual journey as she hears the voice of God guiding her north to freedom on that very first trip to escape the brutal practice of forced servitude. Tubman would make nineteen subsequent trips back south, never being caught, but none as profound as this first one.
Myers, Walter Dean
J973.04 MYERS

A history of the African-American struggle for freedom and equality, beginning with the capture of Africans in 1619, continuing through the American Revolution, the Civil War, and into contemporary times.
Cook, Michelle
JE COOK

Part historical, part poetry, and entirely inspirational, this unique picture book takes the reader through the cumulative story of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, expanding the popular slogan beyond Matin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and Barack Obama to include more key players in the struggle for equality.
Morrison, Tony
J379.263 MORRI

Toni Morrison has collected a treasure chest of archival photographs that depict the historical events surrounding school desegregation. These unforgettable images serve as the inspiration for Ms. Morrison’s text—a fictional account of the dialogue and emotions of the children who lived during the era of "separate but equal” schooling. Remember is a unique pictorial and narrative journey that introduces children to a watershed period in American history and its relevance to us today.
Giovanni, Nikki
JB P237G

The story of how Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus in Montogomery, Alabama on Dec. 1, 1955, and of how her quiet determination helped to change American history.
Pinkney, Andrea Davis
JB T777PI

Picture book biography of the 19th-century African-American abolitionist and reformer; illustrated by Jerry Pinkney.
Hamilton, Virginia
J398.2 HAMIL

Retold Afro-American folktales of animals, fantasy, the supernatural, and desire for freedom, born of the sorrow of the slaves, but passed on in hope.
Coles, Robert
JB B76C

For months six-year-old Ruby Bridges must confront the hostility of white parents when she becomes the first African American girl to integrate Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960.
Curtis, Christopher Paul
J CURTI

The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.
Nelson, Kadir
J796.357 NELSO

Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through the decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. Illustrations from oil paintings by artist Kadir Nelson.
Ryan, Pam Munoz
JB AN243RY

An introduction to the life of Marian Anderson, extraordinary singer and civil rights activist, who was the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, whose life and career encouraged social change.
Cline-Ransome, Lesa
JB D745CL

"Words Set Me Free is the inspiring story of young Frederick Douglass's path to freedom through reading"-- Provided by publisher.
Rochelle, Belinda
J811.008 WORDS

Pairs twenty works of art by African-American artists with twenty poems by twenty African-American poets.