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Library staff has picked out books for kids, young adults, and adults featuring Black authors and Black Stories. To get more recommendations, go to fppl.org/getarec.

For Kids


An accessible introduction to what advocacy and protest can mean, bridging the past the present. Highlights some of the rallying causes for organized marches throughout history. Check Out

 

 

Ruby Bridges, a pioneer in her own right, calls to today’s youth encouraging them to use their voice and their power to make change in the world.  Check Out

 

 

 

This collection of poems by women of color is a call for action and social justice and features a foreword from Newberry Award nominee Jason Reynolds. 
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This Caldecott Honor poem of a book delivers hope and comfort for challenging times.
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Harrison adds another accessible and interesting collection of biographical stories to her name. This one focuses on notable figures including civil rights leader and politician John Lewis, tennis trailblazer Arthur Ashe, and author James Baldwin. Check Out

 

 

 

Wilson collaborates with the curators from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture to tell the stories of more than 50 bold, brave, and trailblazing women.  Check Out

 

 

 

Huntsville, Alabama native Ebony-Grace finds herself transplanted in Harlem due to a family emergency. Though she’s challenged, she finds community by embracing her imagination and recognizing the strength in herself. Check Out

 

 

 

A joyful A to Z of empowerment that encourages kids to take pride in themselves for who they are. 
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The road to Civil Rights illustrated through the words of empowerment and hope from leaders including Gwendolyn Brooks, Barack Obama, W.E.B. DuBois and others. 
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Six very different kids learn a lot about themselves–and each other’s struggles–as they are thrown together for a weekly group meeting. Check Out

 

 

For Young Adults

Enjoying the luxuries of a privileged life in 1992 Los Angeles, a black high school senior is unexpectedly swept up in the vortex of the Rodney King Riots while her closest friends spread a rumor that could derail a fellow black student’s future. Check Out

 

 

A graphic novel biography of the escaped slave, abolitionist, public speaker, and most photographed man of the nineteenth century, based on his autobiographical writings and speeches, spotlighting the key events and people that shaped the life of this great American. Check Out

 

 

Sending weekly letters to an organization she hopes will save her innocent father from death row, 17-year-old Tracy uncovers racist community secrets when her track star brother is wrongly accused of murder. Check Out

 

 

The award-winning author of American Street and the prison reform activist of the Exonerated Five trace the story of a young artist and poet whose prospects at a diverse art school are threatened by a racially biased system and a tragic altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood. Check Out

 

 

Three-time Hugo Award winner and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin challenges and delights readers with thought-provoking narratives of destruction, rebirth, and redemption that sharply examine modern society in her first collection of short fiction, which includes never-before-seen stories. Check Out

 

 

A thrilling and incisive examination of the post-Reconstruction era struggle for and suppression of African American voting rights in the United States. Check Out 

 

 

 

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood and adolescence growing up as a gay black man. Check Out

 

 

 

After clashing with her Catholic school teacher over Thomas Jefferson’s enslavement of people, Roberta Forest, a thirteen-year-old, questions religion and hypocrisy—at school, home, and nationwide—as the Watergate scandal unfolds. Check Out

 

 

An honors student at Jefferson Academy, seventeen-year-old Keira enjoys developing and playing Slay, a secret, multiplayer online role-playing game celebrating black culture, until the two worlds collide. Check Out

 

 

This is the story of how the movement that started with a hashtag–#BlackLivesMatter–spread across the nation and then across the world and the journey that led one of its co-founders, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, to this moment. Check Out

 

 

For Adults

William Monroe Trotter stated: “We will be satisfied with nothing less than our full citizenship rights.” He was an instrumental advocate of a radical vision of black liberation that prefigured leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. The biography is the first in five decades on this essential figure in Black history. Check Out

 

In this collection of honest, “enraging and engaging” personal essays, the author combines both humor and humanity without obscuring the impact of racism on him as a husband, father, son, and educator. Using a wry wit, he writes about growing up in Southside Chicago, raising black boys, racial profiling, and more. Check Out

 

Mixing memories from his own life with philosophical ruminations on the black experience as a kind of  ‘perpetual slavery’, Wilderson creates what is “an essential contribution to any discussion of race and likely to be a standard text in cultural studies for years to come.” (Kirkus)  
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Former NFL player Emmanuel Acho sets out to have a productive, if uncomfortable, conversation about racism with you. He answers questions “large and small, insensitive and taboo” including questions about white privilege, systemic racism, ‘reverse racism’ and implicit bias. Check Out

 

 

At times haunting and other times profoundly humorous, this unprecedented anthology guides you through the remarkable experiences of some of America’s greatest writers and their lifelong pursuits of literacy and literature. The foreword was written by Nikki Giovanni. Check Out

 

 

Remember the uncategorizable and unputdownable Citizen from 2014?  In her new work, Claudia Rankine goes even further, looking at the experience of race, “especially how white people barely acknowledge it (particularly in conversation with other white people) while for black people, it affects everything.” (Kirkus)  Check Out

 

 

Poet Nikki Giovanni, seven time NAACP Image Award winner, shares a personal collection of poems about her loved ones and her black heritage in such a way that helps to reinforce her “unapologetic commitment to documenting both injustice and joy.” (Publisher’s Weekly)  Check Out

 

 

This biography of Malcolm X was 30 years in the making by Pulitzer winner Les Payne. It was finished by his daughter Tamara Payne after he passed away in 2018. Hundreds of hours of interviews with family, friends, and enemies alike went into making what has become a “superb biography.” (Kirkus)  Check Out

 

 

In Begin Again, Glaude uses a mixture of biography, history, memoir, and analysis to show how James Baldwin’s words in the wake of the civil rights movement still hold meaning today, and how to use those words in the search for hope and guidance. Check Out

 

 

Editor Kevin Young has put together a vast collection of African American poetry dating all the way back to 1770, including mini biographies of each of the poets. All of which culminates into a “profound and affirming pleasure to read.” (Booklist)  Check Out