If you haven’t started to talk to you kid about race and inequality in the United States, no matter how old or young they are, now is the time to start.
Not tomorrow, now.
Things are changing, but not fast enough, which means all kids, all colors, should be aware of how our society treats people different based on the color of their skin.
One great way to begin the discussion with kids is to fill their library with books about the different experiences of different kinds of people in this country. Here are 10 that can get you started.
8. Abbi Invents Unbreakable Crayons by Dr. Arlyne Simon
Abbi hates when her crayons break, so she comes up with a plan to create her own unbreakable crayons – and gets the patent to prove it! This book is excellent for kids interested in STEM and Art, and they might even learn something about the scientific method while they’re at it.
7. A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
If you’re hoping to inspire your kids to get involved in social change, this alphabet-centered book goes over concepts that center around revolution, also delving into race, class, and worker’s rights. This book should get your kiddos asking the right questions and can work for toddlers on up.
6. I Am Enough by Grace Beyers
This book teaches confidence without leaving out how important it can also be to work with others. The illustrations are gorgeous and remind Black girls that they are beautiful just the way they are.
5. The Bell Rang by James E. Ransome
You don’t want to stock your kid’s library with books about slavery, but they definitely need to understand it. This book offers a unique perspective and includes a nice handling of the topic – the author humanizes the experience of slaves without making it seem like slavery itself was anything close to okay.
4. Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson
This book sheds light on the realities of those who did, and didn’t, march for Civil Rights and highlights the existence of the children who also went on a search for justice and equality.
3. My People by Langston Hughes, illustrated by Charles R. Smith Jr.
Hughes poetry is near and dear to so many, and this photo interpretation of his work is perfect for fans. They’re full of rich diversity of Blackness that perfectly compliment Hughes’ timeless words.
2. Look What Brown Can Do! by T. Marie Harris
There are too many people who still have the idea that Black people can only achieve success through sports or entertainment (both are valid!), but the truth is, Black kids can do anything they want to do in life – just like anyone else!
This book highlights this truth by showcasing historical Black figures who excelled in areas like investing, business, science, you name it.
1. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
Black women have achieved many great things, despite having to deal with assumptions made about them due to their race and gender. This book features 40 Black women who left their mark on society in any number of ways – and there are some obscure women here that you’ll probably be learning about for the first time, too!
I’m definitely going to pick some of these up for my boys.
If you have any other suggestions to add to the list, let us know in the comments!