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26 Children's Books That Celebrate Black Heroes

From scientists and singers, to activists and artists: these books will teach children about black heroes.

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1. Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills by Renee Watson, illustrated by Christian Robinson.

Random House

Who: Florence Mills (a singer — with a voice like a bird — who was popular during the Harlem Renaissance, appeared in shows on Broadway, and became an advocate for black performers).

Buy here.

2. A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet.

Knopf Books for Young Readers

Who: Horace Pippin (an artist who overcame a war injury to his arm and went on to have his paintings displayed in museums all over the country).

Buy here.

4. Fly High!: The Story of Bessie Coleman by Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger, illustrated by Teresa Flavin.


Who: Bessie Coleman (the first African American to have a pilot's license — she went all the way to France to earn her license after every American school refused to teach her).

Buy here.

6. Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan with Roslyn M. Jordan, illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Who: Michael Jordan (pretty much the most famous basketball player of all time — this story focuses on his childhood and is written by his mother and sister).

Buy here.

7. Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Jamey Christoph.

Albert Whitman & Company

Who: Gordon Parks (a photographer who captured racism with his camera and eventually became the first black director in Hollywood).

Buy here.

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