Black Lives Matter
every month, week, & day
“Black Lives Matter is our call to action. It is a tool to a reimagined world where Black people are free to exist, free to live. It is a tool for our allies to show up differently for us…”
-Patrisse Cullors, cofounder of the Black Lives Matter movement
Books change lives; affirming, celebrating, and illuminating history to understand the present.
For February, we focus on some 2022 award winners and finalists and revisit previous years’ books that call young people and all of us to action,
to celebrate and affirm all Black identities,
to celebrate, examine, and respect diversity,
to recognize the harmful impact of racism and bias historically and today
to start and continue deep dialogue that leads to
speaking out and working against bias and injustice
so we can live in a fair, just, and inclusive society.
Biography books can be mirrors, windows & sliding glass doors
Everyone needs books that mirror their own experience and realities. Some people have always had these. Some people need window books to view others’ worlds and realities and everyone needs to walk through sliding glass doors to join the work for freedom and justice for all. Biographies can do all these things. Here are some books that celebrate Black identity and excellence, illuminate important history, and invite young people and all people to learn from people who wrote, spoke, fought, sang, and worked for civil rights, anti-racism, and justice.
Fifty years ago on January 25, Shirley Chisholm announced her candidacy for president. She was the first woman and the first African American to seek the nomination for the office of president. Shirley Chisholm was daring, rebellious, persistent, and an outspoken inspiring trailblazer for women, African Americans, and for everyone. Black history is American History.
Books that look into the past
to understand and change the present
The Tulsa Race Massacre-
Seeking justice 100 years later.
Reparations and acknowledgment!
Question why it took until 1996 for an investigation to be mounted.
Listen to stories that weren’t told.
Celebrate the success of a thriving Black community and what it symbolizes.
Mourn the dead and displaced.
Decry ongoing hate violence.
Call for a better future.
Listen to more of Carole Boston Weatherford’s words when she and Floyd Cooper talked about the importance and the making of this important book that will help young people and all people understand the history behind the calling on Congress to consider reparations for continued damage to the Tulsa community.
Black Lives Matter. Then. Now. Still.
and find resources, interviews, guides, and lessons for “Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre” on our website
Visit and revisit this selection of Jane Addams books to help young people learn about, deepen and broaden their understanding of our history and use Black Lives Matter at School and Black History month to shine a still overdue light on Black people who are an integral part of our history.
See these books and resources on our website
Books to celebrate Black beauty, excellence, and joy
“And when she sang of Black children– you lovely, precious dreams– her voice sounded like hope.”
Black children and all young people will find hope, history, and harmony in this beautifully written and illustrated picture book about the life of the icon Nina Simone and how her music came to become the soundtrack of the Civil Rights Movement.
“Nina Simone” by Traci N. Todd and Christian Robinson is seamlessly written, in an age-appropriate way. Make sure to also check out the excellent back matter “About Nina Simone”.
Amplify, uplift, and include Black voices, characters, and history
Use some of these Jane Addams Peace books to amplify, uplift, and include Black voices, characters and history
Queer affirming: Black Lives Matter guiding principles are important in February and all year long.
Everyone has the right to choose who they love and the right to choose their own gender by listening to their own heart and mind.
Check out these Jane Addams books to help children and their adults more deeply understand these important principles.
Find all the Black Lives Principles and much more at the DC Area Black Lives Matter at Schools Week. Find the 13 principles posters in Spanish, Arabic, and English.
For middle and high school students
Find lots of other great resources there too!
All Black Lives Matter,
everyone needs books that mirror their experiences & realities
Black gay boys need and deserve to see themselves in the stories and books they read.
Author Kacen Callender and editor Andrea Davis Pinkney had never seen or read a middle-grade book featuring a gay Black boy.
That was the inspiration for “King and the Dragonflies”
February 24, Jazz & Friends National Day of School & Community Readings in support of transgender & non-binary youth day and every day is a perfect time to read this powerful and affirming book about identity, sexual orientation, intersectionality, race, friendship, family, and more.
Check out some fabulous resources for February and beyond
Check out Zinn Education Project Resources on their website and follow them on Twitter.
Find some Jane Addams books in stellar company. Link to the books and link to videos in this gorgeous slide show from The Book Wrangler . Follow him on Instagram and Twitter .
And a Lunar New Year reminder
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