Books in this category address a wide range of historical and current forms of bigotry, prejudice that is both intentional and systemic and prejudice that is unintentional, but just as hurtful. In some books prejudice is the primary focus of the story; in others it is part of the fabric of the book but not its central theme.
Julia Ward Howe Written by Elizabeth Raum A biography of the nineteenth-century peace and social justice activist who wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870 calling for a “Mother’s Day for Peace,” which eventually led to the holiday known today as Mother’s Day. Ward is most famous for writing the poem that became "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and is also known for her work against slavery and in support of a woman’s right to vote. [Grade Level: 2 - 4]
Juneteenth Jamboree Yvonne Buchanan (Illustrator), Carole Boston Weatherford (Author) Cassandra and her family have moved to her parents' hometown in Texas, but it doesn't feel like home to Cassandra until she experiences Juneteenth, the Texas tradition that celebrates the end of slavery. [Grade Level: K - 3]
Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters Stephen Alcorn (Illustrator), Andrea Davis Pinkney (Author) Let It Shine is a collection of short biographies celebrating the contributions of 10 black women who moved forward the cause of civil rights in America. Following a preface that describes her own family roots in the civil rights movement, Pinkney presents her heroines chronologically in verbal portraits that capture the subjects' faith, strength of character, and determination in the face of hardships and racial injustice. The subjects—who are depicted in full-page oil paintings — include Sojourner Truth, Biddy Mason, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Ella Josephine Baker, Dorothy Irene Height, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Shirley Chisholm. [Grade Level: 3 - 6]
Pink and Say Written and Illustrated by Patricia Polacco The story of Pinkus Aylee who during the Civil War saved Sheldon Russell Curtis, the author's great, great grandfather. [Grade Level: K - 3]
The Old African Julius Lester (Author), Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator) Based on an Ybo slave legend and infused with magical realism, this is the story of an elderly slave, Jaja, who can draw the pain of others into his mind and hones this skill when captured in Africa, dragged into a slave ship, and carted to Georgia. Jaja uses the power of his mind to ease the suffering of his fellow slaves and eventually lead them back to Africa. The graphic text and illustrations depict the horror and brutality of slavery. [Grade Level: 4 - 8]
The Secret to Freedom Larry Johnson (Illustrator), Marcia Vaughn (Author) Great Aunt Lucy tells the story of her slave days when she and her brother learned the quilt code to help direct other slaves, and eventually her brother too to freedom in the north. [Grade Level: K - 6]
To Be A Drum Evelyn Coleman (Author), Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson (Illustrator) A father tells his children how Africans were brought to America as slaves, but promises his children that as long as they can hear the rhythm of the earth, they will be free. [Grade Level: K - 3]