Black Heritage Picture Books

This list contains books that celebrate African-American history and culture. I have read every book listed here with my children. I regularly add titles we recommend over at Alma Mater Bookshop.


This is the Rope by Jaqueline Woodson

A beautiful book that tracks one family through three generations as they move from South Carolina to New York City. We love the audiobook.

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We Are The Ship by Kadir Nelson

This book is full of vibrant illustrations and plenty of profiles of the many black baseball players and their experiences. Excellent on audio too.

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This Jazz Man by Karen Erhardt

This lively, informative counting book takes a jazz twist on the “This Old Man” nursery rhyme. It celebrates jazz music and the skillful greats like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and others.

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I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

This book shares the story of a young girl who learns to celebrate her hair’s beauty and versatility.

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I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., paintings by Kadir Nelson

This book shares excerpts from King’s speech which he gave August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington. Nelson’s illustrations are stunning. Book includes an audio CD of King’s speech in his voice.

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The Bat Boy and His Violin by Gavin Curtis

This story is about a young violinist and his father, the manager of the Negro League baseball team–the Dukes. The boy inspires a flailing team with his music, and the father reinforces that his love for his son won’t change and that some things are more important than winning games.

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In My Momma’s Kitchen by Jerdine Nolen

This book is comprised of vignettes that center around one woman’s kitchen. It portrays scenes of an African-American family in each season of the year. It is heartfelt, light-hearted, and shows the value of family bonds.

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See more titles at the shop under Black Heritage Picture Books.