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Celebrating Black History

Every February, we celebrate Black History Month by highlighting some new additions to the library. This past year, we've added more titles than ever! To keep this post reasonable, we're still only showcasing a few, but please head to the recently added Social Justice subject area for pages and pages of other titles to enjoy!

11306Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn

Learn about the library, checking out books, and story time with Lola. Every Tuesday Lola and her mommy go to the library. Lola meets her friends there. They share books and don't have to be quiet all the time. The nice librarian tells stories. There is a big machine that buzzes Lola's books in and out, and she can take any books she wants home with her. Lola and her mommy always stop for a treat on the way home. No wonder Lola loves the library. This gentle story of growing with books encourages little ones to discover the joy of reading as well as getting them ready and excited to visit the library.

12800George Washington Carver - Hidden Hero of History by Molly Murphy

A story of perseverance and the power of plants! Despite the barriers thrust upon him, George Washington Carver overcame society‚ challenges to ultimately become one of the nation‚ leading botanists and agricultural inventors. Did you know he discovered over 300 uses for the peanut? Carver used his celebrity to speak on racial harmony, hoping to leave the world a better place. This episode includes discussions about slavery and systemic racism. The script for this episode about George Washington Carver was reviewed by a sensitivity reader from SensitivityReviews.com database.

12271Meet Miss Fancy by Irene Latham

A charming and significant story set prior to the Civil Rights Movement about a boy who finds a way to challenge segregation laws. Frank has always been obsessed with elephants. So when Miss Fancy, the elephant, retires from the circus and moves two blocks from his house to Avondale Park, he's over the moon! Frank really wants to pet her. But Avondale Park is just for white people, so Frank is not allowed to see Miss Fancy. Frank is heartbroken but he doesn't give up. Frank writes to the City Council so his church can host a picnic in the park, and he can finally meet Miss Fancy. All of his neighbors sign the letter, but when some protest, the picnic is cancelled and Frank is heartbroken all over again. Then Miss Fancy escapes the zoo, and it's up to Frank to find her before she gets hurt.

12132Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney

The recipient of a Coretta Scott King Book Award Author Honor, Andrea Davis Pinkney is the popular author of numerous picture books and young adult novels. Sit-In recounts the historic events of 1960, when four black college students attempted to integrate a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. "Powerful, elemental, and historic story of those who stood up to oppressive authority and changed the world." -Booklist, starred review

12189All Because You Matter by Tami Charles

Discover this poignant, timely, and emotionally stirring picture book, an ode to black and brown children everywhere that is full of hope, assurance, and love. Tami Charles pens a poetic, lyrical text that is part love letter, part anthem, assuring readers that they always have, and always will, matter. This powerful, rhythmic lullaby reassures readers that their matter and their worth is never diminished, no matter the circumstance: through the joy and wonder of their first steps and first laughter, through the hardship of adolescent struggles and the pain and heartbreak of current events, they always have, and always will, matter.

12651The Tradition by Jericho Brown

Winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Jericho Brown's daring book The Tradition details the normalization of evil and its history at the intersection of the past and the personal. Brown's poetic concerns are both broad and intimate, and at their very core a distillation of the incredibly human: What is safety? Who is this nation? Where does freedom truly lie? Brown makes mythical pastorals to question the terrors to which we've become accustomed, and to celebrate how we survive. Poems of fatherhood, legacy, blackness, queerness, worship, and trauma are propelled into stunning clarity by Brown's mastery, and his invention of the duplex-a combination of the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues-is testament to his formal skill. The Tradition is a cutting and necessary collection, relentless in its quest for survival while reveling in a celebration of contradiction.

12045The Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward

National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin's 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time. In light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation, The Progressive magazine republished one of its most famous pieces: James Baldwin's 1962 "Letter to My Nephew," which was later published in his landmark book, The Fire Next Time. The Fire This Time is divided into three parts that shine a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestle with our current predicament, and envision a better future. Of the eighteen pieces, ten were written specifically for this volume. In the fifty-odd years since Baldwin's essay was published, entire generations have dared everything and made significant progress. But the idea that we are living in the post-Civil Rights era, that we are a "post-racial" society is an inaccurate and harmful reflection of a truth the country must confront. Baldwin's "fire next time" is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about.

12472The Life I'm In by Sharon G. Flake

In The Skin I'm In, readers saw into the life of Maleeka Madison, a teen who suffered from the ridicule she received because of her dark skin color. For decades fans have wanted to know the fate of the bully who made Maleeka's life miserable, Char. Now in Sharon Flake's latest and unflinching novel, The Life I'm In, we follow Charlese Jones, who, with her raw, blistering voice speaks the truths many girls face, offering insight to some of the causes and conditions that make a bully. Turned out of the only home she has known, Char boards a bus to nowhere where she is lured into the dangerous web of human trafficking. While Char might be frightened, she remains strong and determined to bring herself and her fellow victims out of the dark and back into the light, reminding us why compassion is a powerful cure to the ills of the world. Sharon Flake's, Coretta Scott King Award-winning novel The Skin I'm In was a game changer when it was first published more than twenty years ago. It redefined young adult literature by presenting characters and real-world experiences that had not been fully seen. Now Flake offers readers another timely and radical story of a girl on the brink and how her choices will lead her to either fall, or fly.

12837Clover by Dori Sanders

Against a backdrop of peach orchards and languid summer afternoons, Dori Sanders spins a wise, sweet tale of crossing racial barriers in the South Carolina countryside. It was unthinkable that Gaten Hill, a successful black man, would marry Sara Kate, an uppercrust white woman. It was unbelievable that hours after his wedding, he would be killed in a devastating accident. Left to grieve together, Gaten's 10-year-old daughter, Clover, and her white stepmother forge a warm friendship which gives them the strength to let love overcome prejudice.

Looking for more titles?

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It's become a February tradition for us to focus on the titles in our catalog that relate to Black History Month. It's a great chance to look back at some notable new titles from the past year.…

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