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.
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.
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 workingmother.com
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+
I Am Every Good Thing, By Derrick Barnes
Review from workingmother.com
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
Tar Beach, By Faith Ringgold
Review from Familyeducation.com
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+
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
Coming to England, By Floella Benjamin
Review from goodreads.com
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
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
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
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."
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.
Ideas for teaching about Black History Month from the online resource.