8 Confidence-Inspiring Children's Books for Black History Month

Take note as author, entrepreneur, and mom Meena Harris shares some must-read kids’ books that celebrate inclusivity and finding joy in who we are.

Books are my favorite gift to give, especially to children. They are a way to expand minds, learn our history, and imagine the impossible. However, we still have a long way to go when it comes to diversifying children's books—both bylines and content—in the right way (without tokenization or color-blindness). This is especially true during Black History Month. As an author and a mom, it's something I'm personally dedicated to. It's also why I'm so excited to share a few of my favorite children's books from Black authors and illustrators that celebrate Black characters.

Meena Harris holding a book
Meena Harris with her latest book, Ambitious Girl, illustrated by Marissa Valdez. Meena Harris

"I wrote Ambitious Girl for my daughters and anyone who has ever been underestimated or overshadowed."

Local bookstores are not just where we go to buy books—they're the backbone of so many communities. They support authors, they are community gathering places, they widen our worlds, and connect us to one another. Websites like www.IndieBound.org can help you find independent bookstores in your community.

01 of 07

Bunheads

cover of Bunheads book
Courtesy of Bliss Books and Wine

This story shows that black and brown kids belong in the world of dance, and we are all better off when we champion one another.

02 of 07

M Is For Melanin

9781499809169

This spin on traditional ABC books celebrates kids like my daughters and allows them to see themselves on the page.

03 of 07

Your Name Is A Song

cover of Your Name Is A Song
Courtesy of The Tiny Bookstore

A story that honors the power, meaning, and pride behind our names—and the idea that every name is magical.

Related: 7 Trailblazing Black History Heroes You Should Know About

04 of 07

Schomburg: The Man Who Built A Library

9781536208979

The story of a law clerk whose passion and personal collection became the foundation for the New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

05 of 07

Hair Love

cover of Hair Love
Courtesy of Marcus Books

With messages that expand the notion of who and what we consider to be beautiful, this book is a long-standing favorite in our house.

06 of 07

The Snowy Day

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One of the first children's books to depict people of color as main characters.

Related: 14 Powerful Quotes to Read During Black History Month

07 of 07

The Proudest Blue

cover of the proudest blue
Courtesy of Fulton Street Books and Coffee

A tribute to being proud of who you are and where you come from, by the first American Muslim woman to wear hijab in the Olympics (where she won bronze in fencing).

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