The last week has been very heavy with the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests that sprang up around the globe. With so much of the news and conversations turning toward racism, our children are picking up on these conversations with plenty of questions.
But how do you talk to your kids about racism and discrimination in a way that makes them feel safe and in a way that affirms them? It’s hard.
Still, these children’s books can help any parent struggling to find the right words. By delving into our history, these books hope to inspire children by equipping them with the knowledge that Black truly is beautiful—even when the world tries, unsuccessfully, to convince us it’s not.
Woke: A Young Poet's Call to Justice
If your child prefers poetry and spoken word, pick up this read by Mahogany L. Browne as she inspires kids to become activitists.
Let's Talk About Race
This children's book by Julius Lester makes the point that each child, no matter their race, is unique and special.
The Book Is Anti-Racist
Author Tiffany Jewels talks to young adults in This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work. While the book explains the origins of racism, it also gives 20 activities to empower teens and young adults to undo racial oppression.
Author David Lamotte uses clowns to illustrate to children how to non-violently respond to racism. This children's book centers on a racist rally in Knoxville, Tennessee where the Coup Clutz Clowns (sound familiar?) are terrorizing the citizens.
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down
This book celebrates and teaches about the infamous moment four college students staged a peaceful protest at a Woolworth's lunch counter.
Let It Shine
Don't ever let anyone say that Black women weren't on the front lines of the freedom movement. Andrea Davis Pinkney details the women that every Black child should know and reverence in this award-winning children's book.
Look What Brown Can Do!
Want to inspire your kids to do just about anything that they can imagine? Read them this book.
The Youngest Marcher
We don't hear enough about Audrey Faye Hendricks, the then 9-year-old marcher who was arrested in 1963 during a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama.
Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged!
Sadly, racism isn't just affecting Black Americans, but Black people around the globe. Teach your children about Viola Desmond, a Canadian woman who refused to sit in a movie theatre balcony.
An ABC of Equality
This book not only teaches children the A,B,C,s but also the intersections of social justice issues—from race to sexual orientation. from privilege to xenophobia.
Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker
Teach children who may have a flair for the arts that their dreams are possible despite racism. This book details the awe-worthy life of Josephine Baker and how she took herself from the St. Louis "slums" to the biggest stages in Paris.