Our Stories: The African-American Experience

Judith Bloom Fradin

Ellen and William Craft were two of the few slaves to ever escape from the Deep South. Their first escape took them to Philadelphia, then on to Boston pursued by slave hunters, and finally 5000 miles across the ocean to England, where they were able to settle peacefully.

Angela Johnson

There's a sweet, sweet smell in the air as two young girls sneak out of their house, down the street, and across town to where men and women are gathered, ready to march for freedom and justice.

Aaron Reynolds, Floyd Cooper (illustrator)

From the back of the bus, an African American child watches the arrest of Rosa Parks.

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

As a deputy U.S. Marshal--and former slave who escaped to freedom in the Indian Territories--Bass was cunning and fearless.

Nikki Grimes

Barack Obama has become a force for social change, first as an Illinois Senator and now as President of the United States.

John Fleischman

Two young men, grew up in the same neighborhood and served in the same Air Force, but didn’t meet until they were old men because their race had kept them apart.

Margot Theis Raven

A grandmother tells the tale of Gullahs and their beautiful sweetgrass baskets that keep their African heritage alive.

Nikki Grimes

A little girl describes a typical Sunday from the moment her mother wakes her up through the different elements of the worship service in church.

Jacqueline Woodson

After Mama takes a job in Chicago during World War II, Ada Ruth stays with Grandma but misses her mother who loves her more than rain and snow.

Kathy Ross

Provides step-by-step instructions for twenty easy crafts which celebrate the accomplishments of different African Americans, including inventors, activists, educators, and others.

Laban Carrick Hill

To us it is just dirt, the ground we walk on... But to Dave it was clay, the plain and basic stuff upon which he formed a life as a slave nearly 200 years ago.

Jonah Winter

This is the story of Dizzy Gillespie, a trumpet player, who created a whole new kind of music: Bebop.

Monalisa DeGros

Fourth-grader Donavan is sensitive about the problems he has understanding math, and then when his favorite uncle, a former high school basketball star, returns from National Guard duty an amputee, Donavan's problems get even worse as he struggles to accept this "new" Uncle Vic.

Jeanette Winter

In South Africa, a Basotho girl paints designs on her house as a prayer to the ancestors for rain.

Dennis Brindell Fradin & Judith Bloom Fradin

Profiles the first black Washington, D.C. Board of Education member, who helped to found the NAACP and organized of pickets and boycotts that led to the 1953 Supreme Court decision to integrate D.C. area restaurants.

Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard

Sarah is both excited and nervous about being the flower girl in her aunt's wedding.

Kelly Cunnane

From rooster crow to bedtime, a Kenyan boy plays and visits neighbors all through his village, even though he is supposed to be watching his grandfather's cows.

Carole Boston Weatherford

The 1960 civil rights sit-ins at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, are seen through the eyes of a young Southern black girl.

Ann Bausum

Compares and contrasts the childhoods of John Lewis and James Zwerg in a way that helps young readers understand the segregated experience of our nation's past. It shows how a common interest in justice created the convergent path that enabled these young men to meet as Freedom Riders on a bus journey south.

Ellen Levine

A fictionalized account of how in 1849 a Virginia slave, Henry "Box" Brown, escapes to freedom by shipping himself in a wooden crate from Richmond to Philadelphia.

Nikki Giovanni

More than 50 poems and an accompanying CD introduce poetry with a beat.

Walter Dean Myers

Illustrations and poems celebrate the roots of Jazz music.

Brenda C. Roberts

On a beautiful evening, Miz Mozetta puts on her red dress and blue shoes and dances the jitterbug just like she did many years before.

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Drew Nelson

Learn about how freedom came to the slaves in June 1865.

Melissa Thomson

Keena Ford chronicles her many mishaps as she begins second grade.

Andrea Davis Pinkney
"Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus and sparked a boycott that changed America. Harriet Tubman helped more than three hundred slaves escape the South on the Underground Railroad. Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The lives these women led are part of an incredible story about courage in the face of oppression; about the challenges and triumphs of the battle for civil rights; and about speaking out for what you believe in--even when it feels like no one is listening."
Ashley Bryan

Illustrated versions of three well-known hymns

Candice Ransom

Young Kezia is a slave, living in nineteenth-century Fredericksburg, Virginia, until her mother helps her escape.

Elizabeth Partridge

This book recounts the three months of protest that took place before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s landmark march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery to promote equal rights and help African-Americans earn the right to vote.

Carole Boston Weatherford

Describes Tubman’s spiritual journey as she hears the voice of God guiding her north to freedom on that very first trip to escape the brutal practice of forced servitude.

Gloria Jean Pinkney

Twenty-two African-American spirituals and reverential songs; includes a CD.

My First Kwanzaa

A girl describes how she and her family celebrate the seven days of Kwanzaa.

Langston Hughes

Hughes's spare yet eloquent tribute to his people has been cherished for generations. Now, acclaimed photographer Smith interprets this beloved poem in vivid sepia photographs that capture the glory, the beauty, and the soul of being a black American today.

Margot Theis Raven

At the request of his fellow slave Granny Judith, Christmas John risks his life to take runaways across a river from Kentucky to Ohio. Based on slave narratives recorded in the 1930s.

Jewell Parker Rhodes

In New Orleans' Ninth Ward, twelve-year-old Lanesha, who can see spirits, and her adopted grandmother have no choice but to stay and weather the storm as Hurricane Katrina bears down upon them.

Jill Abramson

Photographs and text adapted from "New York Times" articles trace Barack Obama's journey from his birth in Hawaii, through his political career in Chicago and his primary and presidential campaigns, to his inauguration in 2009.

Rita Williams-Garcia

In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn to California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

Patricia C. McKissack and Onawumi Jean Moss

Home alone with a stomachache while the family works in the fields, a young girl faces up to the horrifying Boo Hag that her brother warned her about.

Andrea and Brian Pinkney

A baby discovers why his pretty brown face is so special.

Nikki Giovanni

This picture- book tribute to Mrs. Parks is a celebration of her courageous action and the events that followed.

Calvin Alexander Ramsey with Gwen Strauss

When Ruth and her parents take a motor trip from Chicago to Alabama to visit her grandma, they rely on a pamphlet called "The Negro Motorist Green Book" to find places that will serve them.

Angela Shelf Medearis

When they are given the seemingly impossible task of turning thread into gold, the seven Ashanti brothers put aside their differences, learn to get along, and embody the principles of Kwanzaa.

Andrea and Brian Pinkney

A mother and her young children enjoy playing with an African instrument called the shekere.

Jacqueline Woodson

The making of "Show Ways," or quilts which once served as secret maps for freedom-seeking slaves, is a tradition passed from mother to daughter in the author's family.

Andrea Davis Pinkney

A celebration of when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement.

Janice N. Harrington

A young farm girl tries to catch her favorite chicken, until she learns something about the hen that makes her change her ways.

Langston Hughes

A beautifully illustrated rendition of the famous poem.

Russell Freedman

In the mid-1930s, Marian Anderson was a famed vocalist who had been applauded by European royalty and welcomed at the White House. But, because of her race, she was denied the right to sing at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. This is the story of her resulting involvement in the civil rights movement of the time.

Kadir Nelson

Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through the decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947.

Niki Daly

When Mama gets a new job and a new house, everyone is excited about moving except Jamela who likes her old house just fine.

Angela Johnson

A boy's love of flight takes him on a journey from the dusty dirt roads of Alabama to the war-torn skies of Europe. An introduction to the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II.

Philip Dray

Biography of Ida B.Wells-Barnett, a journalist and teacher who wrote about and spoke against the injustices suffered by Africans Americans.