Holiday Gift Guide: 20 Children’s Books With Black Main Characters

Books With Black Main Characters

Back when I was growing up in the Caribbean, I remember the characters in my first reading book — they had my dark skin, hair in braids and they wore uniforms like the ones I wore to school. When I turned to picture books though, unless they were published in the Caribbean, none of the characters looked anything like me. That’s why throughout my motherhood journey, I’ve been cognizant of the reality that representation truly matters. I don’t want my kids to be turned off from reading because they can’t see themselves in the main characters. That’s why I’ve made it my business to seek out children’s books with main black characters. Of course, that’s not the only basis I use when buying them books and they have all types of books but books about black culture, books that affirm their intelligence and beauty, books that inspire them to go for their dreams are the books I’ve filled our little home library with. Many of these books were gifts to my children. There is no better gift and books are inexpensive. So here is my list, 20 children’s African American books. I publishing it now for the holidays but you can refer back to this list at any time you need to buy a book as a gift.  Also, these books aren’t only for black families, I think parents of all cultures should have a few of these books in their home library too so their kids can learn about black culture.

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  1. I got the Christmas Spirit 
  2. I got the rhythm
  3. Dancing in the Wings
  4. I love my hair 
  5. Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World
  6. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History (Vashti Harrison)
  7. Dream Big Little One
  8. I am Enough 
  9. Ada Twist Scientist 20 Children's Books With Black Main Characters
  10. President Series (chapter books)
  11. Of Thee, I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters — Barack Obama 
  12. Shaking things up 
  13. Mae Among the Stars 
  14. Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13
  15. The Word Collector 20 Children's Books With Black Main Characters
  16. An Ode to the Fresh Cut 
  17. Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
  18. Firebird by Misty Copeland
  19. Hurricane Child (chapter book)
  20. Every Little Thing: Based on the song ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley Books With Black Main Characters

What are your favorite children’s books with black main characters?