Black History Booklist

Feb 15, 2013
In 1967, six months before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. visited Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia. “What is your life’s blueprint?” King asked the students, most of whom were black and poor. No matter what vocation they pursued, he advised, “Set out to do it well.” That’s exactly what the individuals profiled in these 50 books did. Your students will learn about ordinary people who did extraordinary things, as well as those who rose to the top of their fields in science, politics, music, journalism, and the arts. Our titles are grouped according to suggested grade bands, with a mix of genres. Since recurrent themes emerge in the texts, you’ll be able to craft a lesson in academic vocabulary with words like justice, freedom, equality, civil rights, and just plain civil. If you want to go beyond the Common Core with a discussion about character strengths, grit, courage, and perseverance come to mind. The individuals in these works embody King’s message to “be the best of whatever you are.” Their stories deserve to be told not just in February, but all year long.