MLK Day: Children’s Books That Combat Racism

childrens books

Yesterday (18/01/2020) was Martin Luther King Day, marking 52 years since he was tragically assassinated.

The time is always right to do what is right.

Martin Luther King Jr.

The fact that racism is still prevalent in today’s society i.e. police brutality last year, and white supremacists storming Capitol building earlier this month, is horrifying.

They say that if we teach kids about racism from an early age, the injustices we face could one day be history! 🤞

So, I’ve put together a list of age-appropriate books which you can buy and read your kids at bedtime to help them become more aware.

childrens books

We March: I Have a Dream – Shane W. Evans

Seeing as this post is dedicated to Martin Luther King himself, I thought I’d start with a book which rewrites the empowering and unforgettable speech he gave in a way that kids of all ages can understand.

We Marchwas one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Children’s Books of 2012, and is an important story about the African American civil rights movement.

childrens books

Sulwe – Lupita Nyong’o

Fun fact: Lupita is more than just an actress and model!

In this stunning picture book, Lupita creates a whimsical and heartwarming story which inspires children to see their own unique beauty.

Sulawe is a girl who was born with a unique midnight skin-tone, darker than those around her. Although she initially wants to be as bright or beautiful as her mum and sister, she later realises she’s even more-so after taking a magical trip into the night sky.

childrens books

Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea – Meena Harris

With President-elect Joe Biden and VP Kamala Harris’ inauguration just a day away, this book, written by Kamala’s niece Meena couldn’t be more apt!

Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea’ is beautiful and empowering… It tells the tale of two sisters who work with their community to effect change.

Its message is simple: choose courage over fear!

Fun Fact: Maya is Meena’s mum and Kamala Harris’ sister

Another fun fact: this picture book was inspired by a true-story from Kamala and Maya (a lawyer and policy expert) childhood.

childrens books

I Am One: A Book of Action – Susan Verde

Also a New York Times Bestseller, ‘I Am One’ is a timely, compelling picture book that gently encourages children to take action – both big or small – in a bid to inspire change.

childrens books

Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness – Anastasia Higginbotham

Not My Idea’ is an age-appropriate book that openly discusses white-privilege.

It not only raises awareness of racism, but empowers the younger generation to work toward justice and to cultivate activism.

childrens books

Intersection Allies: We Make Room For All – Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council and Carolyn Chai

Intersection Allies: We Make Room For All’ is a celebration of solidarity and community between nine girls from diverse backgrounds.

This book helps by showing the importance of a supportive community.

childrens books

Last Stop on Market Street – Matt De La Peña

If you’re looking for a picture book that focusses on responsibility, staying true to culture and finding fulfilment within our communities, ‘Last Stop on Market Street’ is the book for you!

It takes us on an energetic journey through a bustling city, highlighting the love and understanding between CJ and his grandmother.

childrens books

Black is a Rainbow Colour – Angela Joy

Black is a Rainbow Colour’ is a very moving book which reflects on the meaning of being a black person in an unbalanced community.

Its message is powerful, one of hope for the black community, a look at the culture, history, and legacy which lives on.

This book is an insightful and important read for children of all ages.

Other books include: All Are Welcome and All the Ways to be Smart.

Have you read these stories [or similar] to your kids? Let me know in the comments below…

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