Black Children's Books & Authors

"Black children need to see their lives reflected in the books they read. If they don't, they won't feel welcome in the world of literature. The lives of African-Americans are rich and diverse, and the books our children read should reflect that."- Valerie Wilson Wesley

Little Divas

The “good” girl

Cassidy has let her parents, her strong-willed cousin and best friend, Rikki, and cruel classmates push her around long enough. Before school starts, she WILL become independent.

The “bad” girl

Rikki also wants independence, mostly from her preacher father and perfect older sister. But secretly she doesn’t mind having her goody-goody cousin around to keep her in line. Without Cassidy, it would be easy to go too far.

The “new” girl

Golden is new to town, and she’s got all the freedom she wants. What she needs is a parent to actually listen to her. But at least she has some new friends to help her deal.

For all three girls, life is changing fast. If they’re going to make it to seventh grade, they’d better summon their inner divas — because sometimes having a little attitude and a little respect for yourself is the only way to get what you want.

In Little Divas, Philana Marie Boles delivers a sassy, spirited tale of loyalty, family, and friendship.

 

Philana Marie Boles…

writes or co-writes “mainstream fiction as well as inspirational and motivational non-fiction for readers of all ages, but especially younger readers and women.”

 
Philana has a Bachelors Degree from Bowling Green State University and has worked for Glamour magazine, a major motion film production company, The Toledo Free Press, and Ohio and New York public and community schools…continue reading

— 1 hour ago with 7 notes
#black authors  #philana marie boles  #little divas  #middle grade fiction 

Colors of Me

Intriguing collage illustrations frame this playful rhyme told through the eyes of a curious, creative young child who determines the whole world is full of color. Would I climb a tree striped orange and blue? Does the rain have a color when it makes a puddle? If flowers had no color, would they smell as sweet? The child comes to realize and appreciate a world filled with all colors that paint the earth and sky—and decides she’d like to be them all.

Brynne Barnes…

knows a secret - that the whole world is a giant coloring book and the most beautifully potent crayons are words, laughter, and song. Since earning her B.S. from the University of Michigan and M.A. in Creative Writing from Eastern Michigan University, she has been coloring the world with her pen from Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she writes stories, poetry, and music. She has taught writing at Adrian College and continues teaching at the University of Phoenix. Colors of Me is her first picture book.

— 2 hours ago with 10 notes
#black authors  #brynne barnes  #colors of me 

We Could Be Brothers

With piercing insight and humor, Derrick Barnes delivers a fresh, thoughtful look at two very different teen boys thrown together in after-school detention. Robeson Battlefield and Pacino Clapton meet in detention, where they discover they both had scuffles with the same person, Tariq. Although the boys have different mannerisms (Robeson is more respectful of the girl sharing detention with them) and lifestyles (Pacino lives in a sketchy part of town; Robeson lives in a huge well-to-do house), they become friends. As the tension with Tariq intensifies, Robeson is conflicted about what to do. His father insists on nonviolence. But Tariq will have none of that. And the final confrontation is fast approaching.

Derrick Barnes…

is the author of two early reader titles: Stop, Drop and Chill (Just For You/Scholastic) and The Low Down Bad Day Blues (Just For You/Scholastic). He’s also the creator/author behind the extremely popular Ruby and the Booker Boys series…continue reading.

— 2 hours ago with 5 notes
#black authors  #derrick barnes  #teen boys  #young adult 

Crush: Love Poems

Crush is a poetry memoir of love, for people young and cool, and older folks too, who want to remember and rejoice. From friendship to flirting, from the first date to the break-up, this collection of passion poems intertwines snapshots of innocent young adult angst with a fiery language that defines the first love which none of us ever outgrows. Crush is the first book of its kind, love poems for the Young Adult market.

Kwame Alexander…

has written 17 books, owned several publishing companies, written for the stage and television (TLC’s “Hip Hop Harry”), recorded a cd, performed around the world…continue reading

— 2 hours ago with 6 notes
#black authors  #kwame alexander  #love  #teenagers  #young adult 

Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-fi and Fantasy Culture

An educational and entertaining guide to sci-fi and fantasy within African American culture by Ytasha L. Womack. Comprising elements of the avant-garde, science fiction, cutting-edge hip-hop, black comix, and graphic novels, Afrofuturism spans both underground and mainstream pop culture. With a twofold aim to entertain and enlighten, Afrofuturists strive to break down racial, ethnic, and all social limitations to empower and free individuals to be themselves.This book introduces readers to the burgeoning artists creating Afrofuturist works, the history of innovators in the past, and the wide range of subjects they explore. From the sci-fi literature of Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, and NK Jemisin to the musical cosmos of Sun Ra, George Clinton, and the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, to the visual and multimedia artists inspired by African Dogon myths and Egyptian deities, topics range from the “alien” experience of blacks in America to the “wake up” cry that peppers sci-fi literature, sermons, and activism. Interviews with rappers, composers, musicians, singers, authors, comic illustrators, painters, and DJs, as well as Afrofuturist professors, provide a firsthand look at this fascinating movement.

Ytasha L. Womack…

 is an author, filmmaker, dancer and futurist. She is author of the critically acclaimed book Post Black: How a New Generation is Redefining African American Identity and 2212: Book of Rayla. She is also the coeditor of the hip hop anthology Beats, Rhyme & Life: What We Love and Hate About Hip HopHer films include Love Shorts (writer/producer) and The Engagement (director). Ytasha is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and studied media management at Columbia College in Chicago. She resides in the Windy City. 

Photo

— 3 days ago with 36 notes
#black authors  #ytasha l. womack  #afrofuturism  #sci-fi 
theafrocentricasian:

Our children are being criminally shortchanged in the public school system of America. The Afro-American schools are the poorest-run schools in the city of New York. Principals and teachers fail to understand the nature of the problems with which they work and as a result they cannot do the job of teaching our children.
    They don’t understand us, nor do they understand our problems; they don’t. The textbooks tell our children nothing about the great contributions of Afro-Americans to the growth and development of this country, and they don’t.
    When we send our children to school in this country they learn nothing about us other than that we used to be cotton pickers. Every little child going to school thinks his grandfather was a cotton picker. Why, your grandfather was Nat Turner; your grandfather was Toussaint L’Ouverture; your grandfather was Hannibal. Your grandfather was some of the greatest black people who walked on this earth. It was your grandfather’s hands who forged civilization and it was your grandmother’s hands who rocked the cradle of civilization But the textbooks tell our children nothing about the great contributions of Afro-Americans to the growth and development of this country.—-Malcolm X, June 28, 1964
-afro-centricqueen.

theafrocentricasian:

Our children are being criminally shortchanged in the public school system of America. The Afro-American schools are the poorest-run schools in the city of New York. Principals and teachers fail to understand the nature of the problems with which they work and as a result they cannot do the job of teaching our children.


    They don’t understand us, nor do they understand our problems; they don’t. The textbooks tell our children nothing about the great contributions of Afro-Americans to the growth and development of this country, and they don’t.


    When we send our children to school in this country they learn nothing about us other than that we used to be cotton pickers. Every little child going to school thinks his grandfather was a cotton picker. Why, your grandfather was Nat Turner; your grandfather was Toussaint L’Ouverture; your grandfather was Hannibal. Your grandfather was some of the greatest black people who walked on this earth. It was your grandfather’s hands who forged civilization and it was your grandmother’s hands who rocked the cradle of civilization But the textbooks tell our children nothing about the great contributions of Afro-Americans to the growth and development of this country.

—-Malcolm X, June 28, 1964

-afro-centricqueen.

(via decolonize-all-the-things)

— 3 days ago with 658 notes

The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage 
Walter Dean Myers
The story of the Harlem Hellfighters is not simply one of victory in a war… . It is the story of men who acted as men, and who gave a good account of themselves when so many people thought, even hoped, that they would fail. What defines a true hero? The “Harlem Hellfighters,” the African American soldiers of the 369th Infantry Regiment of World War I, redefined heroism — for America, and for the world. At a time of widespread bigotry and racism, these soldiers put their lives on the line in the name of democracy. The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage is a portrait of bravery and honor. With compelling narrative and never-before-published photographs, Michael L. Printz Award winner Walter Dean Myers and renowned filmmaker Bill Miles deftly portray the true story of these unsung American heroes.

The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage

Walter Dean Myers

The story of the Harlem Hellfighters is not simply one of victory in a war… . It is the story of men who acted as men, and who gave a good account of themselves when so many people thought, even hoped, that they would fail.

What defines a true hero?

The “Harlem Hellfighters,” the African American soldiers of the 369th Infantry Regiment of World War I, redefined heroism — for America, and for the world. At a time of widespread bigotry and racism, these soldiers put their lives on the line in the name of democracy.

The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage is a portrait of bravery and honor. With compelling narrative and never-before-published photographs, Michael L. Printz Award winner Walter Dean Myers and renowned filmmaker Bill Miles deftly portray the true story of these unsung American heroes.

— 4 days ago with 33 notes
#black authors  #walter dean myers  #harlem hellfighters  #black history  #heroes 

The Blacksmith’s Daughter

As his thirtieth birthday looms, King Austyn must marry or forfeit his throne to his first cousin, the diabolical Lord Wolftraap. Marcelline, the eldest of the Blacksmith’s daughters and keeper of the family forge, reluctantly competes for the king’s hand, for with it, comes a prize with the power to save her dying sister’s life. A king in need of marriage and a maiden in need of a miracle will do whatever it takes to preserve the well-being of the people they love. Perhaps, and if they are lucky, their wishes will come true in The Blacksmith’s Daughter, the first fairy tale by award-winning and bestselling author Crystal Hubbard.

Crystal Hubbard…

is the author of more than 20 novels and short stories. She worked her way through college as a nanny, which inspired her to write fairy tales.

A former reporter and Boston Herald sports copy editor, Hubbard writes romance novels for adults and young adults, picture book biographies, horror short stories, and educational text.

She is the mother of four children in first grade through high school.

Her interests include writing, reading, drawing, kickball, mixed martial arts, softball, hiking, biking, sewing and cooking. She also a certified cake decorator.

When she isn’t writing or editing for a high school sports magazine, she spends time working with veterans re-entering the workforce, collecting for Toys for Tots, conducting writing workshops, and composing grant requests for public schools and nonprofit organizations.

Photo Source

— 4 days ago with 17 notes
#black authors  #crystal hubbard  #children's books  #fairy tales 

Born on this day…July 18, 1918

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: Anti-Apartheid Activist, First Black President of South Africa

Books

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa’s antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality…his moving and exhilarating autobiography, destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history’s greatest figures. Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela tells the extraordinary story of his life—an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.

 

No Easy Walk to Freedom

 

“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountain tops of our desires.”


After twenty-seven years in prison, Nelson Mandela finally walked free in February 1990. This collection of his articles, speeches, letters from underground, and the transcripts from his trials, vividly demonstrate the charisma and determination of a towering figure in the struggle for racial equality in South Africa.

 

Nelson Mandela

Kadir Nelson

 

One day when Nelson Mandela was nine years old, his father died and he was sent from his village to a school far away from home, to another part of South Africa. In Johannesburg, the country’s capital, Mandela saw fellow Africans who were poor and powerless. He decided then that he would work to protect them. When the government began to keep people apart based on the color of their skin, Mandela spoke out against the law and vowed to fight hard in order to make his country a place that belonged to all South Africans…It is the story of a young boy’s determination to change South Africa and of the struggles of a man who eventually became the president of his country by believing in equality for people of all colors.

Nelson Mandela: The Authorized Comic Book

Nelson Mandela Foundation

Freedom fighter, fugitive, president of his nation, hero of the world, Nelson Mandela was called a terrorist, forced into hiding, captured, threatened with death, and eventually thrown into jail. But nothing could stop him from fighting to liberate his country from Apartheid…the fully authorized graphic biography, which relays in picture form the life story of the world’s greatest moral and political hero—from his boyhood in a small South African village to his growing political activism with the ANC; his twenty-seven year incarceration, eighteen of them as prisoner 466/64 on Robben Island; his dramatic release; and his triumphant years as president of South Africa. With new interviews, firsthand accounts, and archival material that has only recently been uncovered, this visually dramatic biography promises to introduce Mandela’s gripping story to a whole new generations of readers.

— 4 days ago with 28 notes
#black authors  #nelson mandela  #kadir nelson  #born on this day  #apartheid