Good books for African American teenagers
African American teenagers, families and educators often struggle to find reading materials that highlight the many accomplishments, experiences and interests of Black people. Quality and appropriate books about Black Americans and people of color other than Martin Luther King are not easy to find.
In addition to the literature about Africans brought to American as slaves and the institution of slavery, Civil War, segregation and Jim Crow laws, African American families want their teens to read about reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, the work of the NAACP, the first African Americans to achieve greatness in their field and the rich history of the Africana American community.
Discussions about the many contributions Black men and women have made to American history are often limited to Black History Month, but the quest to learn more about African American history has become more relative with the emergence of the Black Lives Matter and social justice movement in the United States and globally.
These movements have heightened the awareness of Black power, disparities, equality, racial prejudice, systematic racism, and racial oppression and led to much confusion in many societal areas and within the Black community. To help people of color navigate this current reality, Dr. Eric R. Jackson, Professor of African American Studies at Northern Kentucky University, has identified 15 must-read books for Black children in 7th to 12th grade.
Good books for African American teenagers
M. Harris Jr.
Analyzing the Black Box examines the psychological effects of trauma, racism, and bullying on young Black and African American people. The author, M. Harris Jr., provides insights, strategies, and resources for parents, educators, counselors, and anyone who wants to support this population. The book also includes a self-defense eCourse that teaches 20 techniques to help kids protect themselves from bullies.
Kimberly Brown Pellum
Throughout history, women of color have blazed trails across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In this volume, the author created a book for kids to celebrate incredible African American women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) who have used their brains, bravery, and ambition to beat the odds.
This illustrated volume examines the ways in which African American girls can empower themselves despite hostile environments.
This book displays the epic story of a young girl of African descent torn from her village, sold into enslavement, and stripped of everything she has ever known except hope.
Cheryl Willis Hudson
In this captivating volume, the author collects the writings and views of fifty of the foremost diverse children’s authors and illustrators to answer the question: What shall we tell our children in this divisive, segregated and sometimes racist world?
This outstanding book chronicles the history of the Negro Baseball Leagues.
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This powerful book examines the origins and impact of the 1963 March on Washington, where Blacks and whites advocated for change together.
This unique volume shows the power and impact of oral histories through enslaved African Americans’ voices and livens.
This powerful book celebrates the lives and the joy of young African American boys through seventeen unique stories.
In this book, you will find a clear description of what racism is, how it makes people feel when they experience it, and how to spot it when it happens.
This classic book chronicles the powerful and important life of actress and activist Ruby Bridges.
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Margot Lee Shetterly
This book tells the phenomenal true story of the Black American female mathematicians at NASA. These mathematicians’ calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space.
Sherri L. Smith
This book examines the origins and impact of the Modern Civil Rights movement on Black people.
This book chronicles the life story of First Lady Michelle Obama.
This path-breaking volume discusses the impact of various African American inventors.
This inspiring book tells the story of three sisters who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968. They travelled to meet the mother who abandoned them.
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About the author, Eric R. Jackson
Eric R. Jackson holds a doctorate from the University of Cincinnati. He is a professor of history and black studies in the Department of History and Geography at Northern Kentucky University, where he teaches courses in American and African American history/studies, race relations, and peace studies.
He has over 50 publications, including articles in such journals as Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies, Journal of African American History, and Journal of World Peace.
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