Books about Black Characters or Black culture to add to your kids library right now

Happy Right Now

This is Grey’s favorite book at the moment. We read it over and over and over, so much so that the cover has come off and now the cover pages are beginning to disappear as well. This book has an amazing message and as she’s gotten older it’s helped Grey realize things she can do to make herself feel better when she’s unhappy. It follows a little girl through different times of joy, like the the school bell rings on Friday, while explaining that you don’t have to wait for those times to be happy. It also tries to help tell little ones how to understand how to cope when they simply cannot be happy. This book comes highly recommended form the Ferguson household.

Fresh Princess

This is Grey’s close second favorite, and obviously her mama bought her this book being I’m from West Philly suburbs, I fundraising annually for an elementary school in Will Smith’s old neighborhood, and I grew up watching the TV show the Fresh Prince. This story follows Destiny to her new home where she has to build up the courage to make friends. This was one of the first books Grey learned how to “read” and would recite it to us every 15 minutes. The message is great, and even has some double dutch rhymes I remember chanting when I was a kid. I bought this for nostalgic purposes, but Grey ended up loving it so much. Bonus: I actually just saw as I was linking this book that there’s another Fresh Princess book with Destiny called Fresh Princess: Style Rules. I’ll be buying this and coming back to write my review for sure!

Superheroes Are Everywhere

Vice President Kamala Harris wrote this book about how amazing people are around you every day. These include people like your teachers, your Mom and Dad, … Grey just got this for her birthday and we’ve read it a few times. I’ve been working it into her book piles during the week since she’s an avid reader. I love the message of being grateful and aware of all the amazing things people do for you every day, no matter how little or unimportant they seem at the time.

I Promise

Lebron James wrote this book about making promises to yourself in order to be successful in life. These promises are goals for kids to work towards to make a brighter future for themselves and their communities. I just bought this book for Grey’s Valentine’s day treat and I can’t wait to read it to her!

I Am Enough

I love this book because it shows kids having different talents and being accepting of them. We all are different and we all have things to be proud of. I know this sounds so silly, but I think that reading this book to your little ones can give both of you some peace of mind. Some days won’t be great for both of you, but you are enough!

Don’t Touch My Hair

This book is so important. It follows Ari around as people compliment how beautiful her hair is. It tells a story of beauty in what makes you different, but it tells of the struggle black women in particular have when people just want to feel their hair. It’s important to teach your little girls and boys about consent and that you can’t take things that aren’t offered to you. It’s important to also teach the other end of that, where you can say “no” and tell someone you don’t feel comfortable. “No” isn’t a bad word and Sharee believes we should be comfortable hearing and saying it.

The Story of Rap

This is one of Grey’s favorite board books. She used to point to all the people in the book and I’d get to tell her who each person was. Rap has become an extremely popular music genre, but has been a part of black culture for some time. We love to read the rhymes in this book and it gets Grey dancing most times we read it.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

I love these books because it’s full of so much information in just one page. Each woman in the book seems even greater than the last. These books aren’t story books per say and are a little more informative, so this may be a great book for your older reader. If your little one doesn’t mind the length, maybe take the book daily/weekly and learn about a new figure every week. You could spend the week doing fun activities that have to do with the woman (or man below) that you read about!

Little Leaders: Exceptional Men in Black History

This book is the counterpart to the book above and is the same reading level. The illustrations are great and the pages are full of really great information about amazing civil rights leaders, artists, scientists, and good people. Try the exercise I mentioned above for some weekly/daily fun with this book!

The ABC’s of Black History

This colorful book is full of bits of information about people, places, and ideas in black history. The illustrations in this book alone will suck your little ones in and they’ll love hearing about Harlem, jazz, panthers, and so many historical figures like the Little Rock Nine. It’s one of the more informative books on this list.

Baby Feminists

This was one of Grey’s first flap books, and she loved it because there were little babies to surprise her behind every one. I have fond memories of reading this with her before bedtime and she would open each flap and yell “BABY”. She started to learn important people like “Obama” and “Malala” and would pick them out in the book to say their names. It opened up more conversations about them and lead us to more books with them in it. I also wanted the word “feminist” to not be stigmatized and show her that men and women of all different colors and creeds fought for equal rights for men and women.

I Like Myself

This was one of the first books we were given when Grey was born and it’s just a cute book with eye catching art and a simple message – there’s only one you. You’re perfect, even when your features are different.

Ambitious Girl

This new book by Meena Harris, VP Kamala Harris’ niece, is about how words that are used in a positive way for men are used in negative contexts for women. I recently watched an interview with Meena discussing this book and I immediately added the book to my cart when it ended. Words like ambitious, confident, opinionated, and assertive are all something women aren’t supposed to be. I want to raise my girls to be all of those things when needed, and I don’t want them to even hesitate because they’re girls. I love this message and I love this lady!

Hair Love

Sharing it’s name with the Academy Award winning animated short, this book highlights the relationship between a father and his daughter when he does her hair. This just give me feels on a parenting level and is a great book about the father daughter bond and how a dad will do whatever it takes to make his girl happy. I particularly love the illustrations in this book, too!


This book follows a little girl, Misty, who wants nothing more than to be a ballerina and lead her classes version of Coppelia. She’s never danced before but is determined to be a part of this story she’s fallen in love with during her first ballet class. It’s a book about acceptance, teamwork, and reaching your goals, and is written by someone who knows how hard you have to work to get what you want. Misty Copeland is the first black principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater. She holds that title in a mainly white dominated industry, and has proven herself worthy of that title in her performances in ballets like Swan Lake and Firebird.

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