KidLit TV Celebrates Black History Month

by Kassia Graham, Social Media Director, KidLit TV

Faith Ringgold, Jerry Pinkney, Bryan Collier, Kadir Nelson, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Jacqueline Woodson, Walter Dean Myers, Lillie Patterson … these are the names of just a few African-American authors and illustrators who have interpreted the rich Black experience through words and pictures via kid lit. During Black History Month KidLit TV celebrates the contributions American kid lit creators of African descent have made to the literary world and their readers.

We encourage reading diverse books year round. However, until the kid lit field is level — and authors of all races are given the chance to publish stories that reflect their experiences — we’re doing our part to make our readers aware of diverse books, authors, and illustrators.

We’ve been lucky enough to interview several award-winning African-American kid lit creators on StoryMakers. Watch the interviews below.

Pat Cummings and H. Chuku Lee

StoryMakers | Pat Cummings and H. Chuku Lee  BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Click here to learn more about Pat and Chuku’s work.

Rita Williams-Garcia

KidLit TV | StoryMakers with Rita Williams-Garcia

Click here to learn more about Rita’s work.

If you’re interested in exploring the world of kid lit written and/or illustrated by African-Americans, or related themes you can visit the resources below:

The Brown Bookshelf
The Brown Bookshelf is designed to raise awareness of African American voices writing for young readers. Their flagship initiative is 28 Days Later, a month-long showcase of the best in Picture Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult novels written and illustrated by African Americans.

Zetta Elliott
Author, blogger, and activist Zetta Elliott’s list of middle grade and young adult fiction written by African-Americans.

Reading Rockets
Reading Rockets’ extensive compilation of authors, illustrators, books, and activities for Black History Month. This is a must read!

This isn’t a definitive list, so a visit to your local library, bookstore, or conducting a few online searches will get you started on a great adventure.

Which books will you be reading to learn more about — and to celebrate — African American culture and themes? Let us know in the comments below.

Image Source: Reading Rockets

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Kid Lit TV Commenter Olivia

Thanks for all the links – really helpful for expanding my kid’s reading list. And off the top of my head “My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood” by Tameka Fryer Brown is one of my kid’s favorites! Here’s a link to the author’s site —

Kid Lit TV Commenter J Gribble

Thank you for this link, Olivia! Our hope is to keep the conversation going through the year, and not just during Black History month. Please feel free to make more suggestions.

Kid Lit TV Commenter J Gribble

Thank you for the share. We are dedicated to shining more light onto diverse books and those who create them.

Kid Lit TV Commenter Dominique DeLorenzo

This is wonderful, Great book ideas for my baby girl. Thank you for putting this together.


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