October is Black History Month – this is an annual event where the history of black people is highlighted – people from African countries, people scattered all over the world because of slavery, forced immigration or invitation.
There’s an amazing website dedicated to Black History Month – https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/ (opens in a new tab), so I hope you’ll take some time this month to have a look at the facts, stories, archives, evidence and personal accounts that are on there.
I’ve made a small list of books that you might be interested in – all are available now, either in stock or through Send My Book – just complete this form to order and an invoice will be sent. Once payment is received, books will be despatched the next day (postage is free to UK addresses)
Please note that many of these books are focussed on American Black History, but I’ve included worldwide ones where I can.
If you would like to order any other book about Black History, then please complete the form or send us an email.
Meet Josephine Baker, the world-famous entertainer, activist and French Resistance agent in this true story of her life! This board book version of Josephine Baker – from the beloved Little People, BIG DREAMS series – follows the incredible life of Josephine Baker, from growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, during segregation to defying expectations and performing on the stage in Paris, where audiences fell in love with her.
Josephine Baker was born for the stage. But growing up in segregated St. Louis, she didn’t have the same opportunities as white entertainers. So, she moved to Paris where audiences fell in love with her. Josephine worked as a dancer, an actor, and even a spy. She then spent the rest of her life spreading the word that people of all colors can live together in harmony. Babies and toddlers will love to snuggle as you read to them the engaging story of this talented entertainer and activist, and will also enjoy exploring the stylish and quirky illustrations of this sturdy board book on their own.
New in the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Wilma Rudolph, the remarkable sprinter and Olympic champion.
Wilma was born into a family with 22 brothers and sisters, in the segregated South. She contracted polio in her early years and her doctors said she would never walk again. But Wilma persisted with treatment, and she recovered her strength by the age of 12. At school, Wilma showed a talent for basketball and sprinting, earning the nickname ‘Skeeter’ (mosquito) as she ran so fast. Wilma was in college when she went to the 1960 Olympics. She not only won gold in sprint events, but also broke world records with her sprinting skill. She had beaten polio to become an Olympic champion. She is a huge inspiration to many women in sports around the world. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the athlete’s life.
Rosa Parks (Little People Big Dreams)
Discover the incredible life of Rosa Parks, ‘ The Mother of the Freedom Movement’, in this inspiring story. In this true story of an inspiring civil rights activist, Rosa Parks grew up during segregation in Alabama, but she was taught to respect herself and stand up for her rights.
In 1955, Rosa refused to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Her decision had a huge impact on civil rights, eventually leading to the end of segregation on public transport. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream.
These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!
I Am Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks dared to stand up for herself and other African Americans by staying seated, and as a result she helped end public bus segregation and launch the country’s civil rights movement. This book tells the story of one of America’s icons in an entertaining, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers.
Benin was an important kingdom in West Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries. Find out about Benin’s magnificent capital city, the objects that Benin traded with Europe and their intricate bronze plaques and statues.
Read about food and farming, armies and weapons, the life of a craftsman and how to make a leopard statue!
Packed with fascinating information, the Explore! series inspires children’s curiosity to find out more about the past. A great tool for readers age 8+ or teachers looking for books to support the new curriculum.
Long Walk to Freedom: Illustrated Children’s edition
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela is the amazing story of a true hero of our times; his famous biography has been specially adapted for children in a beautiful illustrated picture book format. Discover how a little boy whose father called him “troublemaker” grew up to fight apartheid, become South Africa’s first black president and campaign for freedom and justice throughout the world.
Adapted by poet Chris van Wyk and illustrated by South African artist Paddy Bouma, with an introduction from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Long Walk to Freedom introduces children to the life of one of the world’s most beloved leaders.
Two great-grandchildren ask their grandmother questions about the man they remember as Grandad, and the world remembers as Nelson Mandela. Authored jointly by his daughter and great-grandchildren, this amazing story celebrates Mandela’s 100th birthday. Full colour.
Walter Tull’s Scrapbook
Born in Kent in 1888, Walter Tull became one of Tottenham Hotspurs’ top players, and won a recommendation for the Military Cross when he joined the Footballer’s Battalion during WWI. This fascinating scrapbook brings Walter’s football experiences vividly to life with colour, b/w photographs, drawings and archive material.
£7.99 (this one is currently out of stock, so please check before you order)
Hopscotch: Histories: Hoorah for Mary Seacole
Mary is a brave nurse. When a war starts in the Crimea she sails across the sea to help, and even enters the battlefield!
Hopscotch Histories are brand new stories in historical settings, told in under 400 words, perfect for children who are building up their reading confidence
Coming to England
Floella Benjamin’s classic memoir, Coming to England, includes a foreword by the author and some additional historical information. It is beautifully illustrated by Michael Frith.
Floella Benjamin was just a young girl when she, her sister and two brothers arrived in England in 1960 to join their parents, whom they had not seen for fifteen months. They had left the island paradise of Trinidad to make a new home in London – part of a whole generation of West Indians who were encouraged to move to Britain and help rebuild the country after the Second World War.
Reunited with her mother, Floella was too overwhelmed at first to care about the cold weather and the noise and dirt from the traffic. But, as her new life began, she was shocked and distressed by the rejection she experienced. She soon realized that the only way to survive was to work twice as hard and be twice as good as anyone else.
This inspirational story is a powerful reminder that courage and determination can overcome adversity.
Life Story: Katherine Johnson
Katherine Johnson: teacher, mathematician, trailblazer. Award-winning children’s author, Leila Rasheed, explores the life of the inspirational NASA mathematician made famous by the film Hidden Voices – Katherine Johnson.
Young Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present
Iconic black pioneers past and present are celebrated through fact-packed profiles and the illustrations of Andrea Pippins. Features inspiring stories of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams.
Black History Matters
An important and hard-hitting chronicle of black history, written by celebrated black historian, Robin Walker.
Black history is an integral part of world history. From the injustices of the past and present, we can learn and be inspired to make the world we live in more fair, equal and just.
Black History Matters chronicles thousands of years of black history, from African kingdoms, to slavery, apartheid, the battle for civil rights and much more. Important and inspiring black personalities, from Olaudah Equiano to Oprah Winfrey, are highlighted throughout, while achievements and progress are balanced alongside a look at the issues that continue to plague black communities.
#Blacklivesmatter is a powerful international movement, designed to raise awareness of and end ongoing injustice towards black people. This book is designed to connect with that movement and offer an important resource for all young readers during Black History Month and beyond.
A Change is Gonna Come
An anthology of stories and poems from BAME writers on the topic of change. Contributors include; Catherine Johnson, Ayisha Malik and Tanya Byrne. All previously unpublished, it will provide a much-needed contribution to diversity in publishing. Ages: 12+
I will Not Be Erased: Our Stories About Growing Up as People of Colour
Creative collective of women and non-binary people of colour Gal-Dem bring together fourteen essays about teenage experiences of race, gender, mental health and activism.
This is a picture book centred on award-winning and best-selling author Margot Lee Shetterly’s untold true story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who provided the calculations that helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space–now a three-time Oscar-nominated motion picture.
Author Shetterly and illustrator Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black female mathematicians who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers in this adaptation of Shetterly’s #1 “New York Times” bestseller–the basis for the Oscar-nominated film.
Set amid the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA’s African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America’s space program.
Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as ‘Human Computers’, calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts, these ‘colored computers’ used pencil and paper to write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.
Moving from World War II through NASA’s golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women’s rights movement, Hidden Figures interweaves a rich history of mankind’s greatest adventure with the intimate stories of five courageous women whose work forever changed the world.
As always, we love to see what you’re reading, so if any of the books in this list have inspired you, please do upload photos to Instagram or Twitter!
Use the hashtag #BlackHistoryMonth and remember to tag @nickelbooks