6 Children’s Books to Celebrate Civil Rights

Juneteenth, June 19th, is a day to celebrate when all Americans honored the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Today, sometimes called Freedom Day, honors the end of slavery in the United States. However, prejudice didn’t stop when slavery ended. Here are six books to celebrate civil rights. These books can help to provide an education about Black History and discrimination to learn about with your kids.

Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison

Book cover of Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison

From the author-illustrator Vashti Harrison who wrote Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History this book highlights writer James Baldwin, artist Aaron Douglas, filmmaker Oscar Devereaux Micheaux, lawman Bass Reeves, civil rights leader John Lewis, dancer Alvin Ailey, and musician Prince.

Get Up, Stand Up by Cedella Marley & Bob Marley

You might recognize these powerful words from Bob Marley’s famous song Get Up, Stand Up. Marley’s lyrics are joined with vibrant pictures by John Jay Cabuay proving we all have the power to make a difference.

Book cover of Get Up, Stand Up by Bob Marley and Cedella Marley; children's hands holding the book, four cartoon children raising their hands

A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory

A child holding the book A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory, while adult embraces the child

It’s never too soon to talk about racism. Author Jelani Memory writes a clear description of what racism is and means. It’s a great way to start the conversation with your kids.

Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

This beautifully illustrated book by Duncan Tonatiuh tells the tale of Sylvia Mendez, whose family fought to end segregation in California schools. There’s a reason this book was awarded A Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book and Robert F. Sibert Honor Book!

Book cover of Separate is Never Equal the story of Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation with six cartoon kids illustated backs to one another

Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz

Book cover of Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz. Girl stands with her hands behind her back looking up to the side

Written by Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz, Betty Before X tells the story of Shabazz’s mother’s childhood. Sharing the inspirational tale of a girl who finds self-love and belonging that will ring true with your young ones.

These are a handful of books to start the conversation of social justice with your children. You can find more wonderful books at https://socialjusticebooks.org/ Curious to learn more about Juneteenth? Check out this blog here.