Black History Month

Black History Month

As we look back over October’s celebrations of Black History Month, we have rounded up some of our favourite books and resources out there. 

The origins of Black History Month 

In the UK Black History Month has been celebrated nationwide in October for more than 30 years. 

Although originally founded to recognise the contributions that people of African and Caribbean backgrounds have made to the UK, it has now expanded to include the history of black people from all backgrounds.  

What makes Black History Month so important?

Black History Month was first launched in the UK with the aim to challenge racism and educate communities and others about the British history that was not being covered in schools.

There was - and very much still is - a lack of representation of black people in history within the history books, despite the fact that black people have always been present in the UK and are fundamental in both the past and future prosperity and success of the nation.

It is important to recognise, respect and celebrate all the people who have and continue to contribute to the way Britain is shaped as a country.

Significant events 

In 2020 many protests were held in Britain, and around the world, as a response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who lost his life after being murdered by police in America as a result of their institutional racism.

Black Lives Matter protests in the UK have called for an end to systemic racism. Calling for all people to be treated equally and not discriminated against because of their skin colour. 

We have also seen statues being removed of people who were part of Britain’s slave trade and inspiring Premier League footballers taking a knee in solidarity with the movement.

Books we love

Dream Big, Little One, By Vashti Harrison 

Review from 

This inspiring read is the board book version of the bestselling Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by the same author. Teach your little ones about all of the Black women who changed the world in their own distinct way, from Oprah Winfrey to Katherine Johnson to Maya Angelou

Recommended ages: 0 - 3+

Dream Big, Little Leader (Board book)


I Am Every Good Thing, By Derrick Barnes 

Review from 

This award-winning picture book tells the story of self-love, self-confidence and accepting every part of yourself. The narrator is a young Black boy who celebrates everything that makes him who he is—a "much-needed book for Black children when society demonstrates otherwise," according to Kirkus

Recommended ages: 3 - 7

I Am Every Good Thing (Paperback)


Tar Beach, By Faith Ringgold 

Review from 

It's 1939, and young Cassie Louise Lightfoot is picnicking with her family and friends on "tar beach" — the hot, black rooftop of her family's Harlem apartment. Cassie lays down and dreams that she is soaring above New York City — finding beauty in the views of the George Washington Bridge (which her father helped build) while also noting the signs of social injustice in the crowded city below.

Recommended ages: 5+ 

Tar Beach (Hardback)


Black History - Campbell My First Heroes, By Campbell Book

Review from Amazon

Discover incredible black men and women from around the world in My First Heroes: Black History! Push, pull and slide the scenes to find out about Maya Angelou, Stormzy, Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela, and be inspired by their incredible achievements.

With scenes to explore, fun facts to learn and bright, bold illustration by Jayri Gómez, this is the perfect introduction for inquisitive preschoolers to these amazing heroes.

Recommended ages: 2 - 5

Black History - Campbell My First Heroes (Board book)

Coming to England, By Floella Benjamin

Review from

The inspiring true story of Baroness Floella Benjamin: from Trinidad, to London as part of the Windrush generation, to the House of Lords.

Coming to England is both deeply personal and universally relevant – Floella's experiences of moving home and making friends will resonate with young children, who will be inspired by her trademark optimism and joy. This is a true story with a powerful message: that courage and determination can always overcome adversity.

Recommended ages: 3 - 6

Coming to England: An Inspiring True Story Celebrating the Windrush Generation (Paperback)

Resources we love

Black History Month Resource have created a new resource for 2021 full of posters, learning resources and lesson plans. 

Black History Month Resource Pack 2021 - Proud to be

Available here

Subjects covered in the pack will include Black History in Art, Classics, Criminal Justice, Drama, English, French, History, Math’s, Music, P.E (Physical Education), R.E (Religious Education)/ Citizenship / PSHE, Science, Spanish, World War I & World War II. 

Black History Month Magazine 2021 

Black History Month magazine has been curated around Black Lives Matter with the new campaign slogan ‘Proud to Be…’ as it is actively encouraging all Black and Brown people, especially children to be proud of their African or Caribbean roots.

Other great links 

Marley Dias - 1000BlackGirlBooks

Welcome to the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign.

"I started this campaign because I wanted to read more books where Black girls are the main characters. With your help we have collected over 13,000 books; many of them have the same title, but we do have lots of unique ones as well. This database includes 1000 of those books and more is coming. We try to update the database every 3 to 6 months."

Write a story with Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Reading Rockets

Their list of favourite books for Black History Month show the joys and challenges shared by children of all backgrounds as they learn and grow. 

Education World 

Ideas for teaching about Black History Month from the online resource. 

BBC Newsround 

  • Black women you should know about
  • The black men who made history in Britain
  • Growing Up Black In America - a Newsround report

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