10 Children's Books About The Civil Righs Movement

Slavery was finally abolished in the United States with the passing of the 13th Amendment in 1965. The 14th Amendment granted citizenship rights and equal protection under the law to African-Americans in 1868. The 15th Amendment granted African-American men the right to vote in 1870. Despite of these new laws, African-American citizens continued to suffer discrimination and segregation, particularly in the Southern states, for almost 100 years.
The Civil Rights Movement, which dominated the 1950s and 1960s, emerged to end discrimination and segregation against African-Americans and other minorities of color. The Civil Rights Movement, also known as the Civil Rights Era, was characterized by non-violent mass social organization and mobilization to protest oppression, inequality, discrimination, and segregation.
Civil rights activists conducted marches, sit-ins, boycotts, and protests all around the country until the government heard them. The Supreme Court ended segregation in public schools in 1954. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination in public spaces. The Civil Rights of 1965 guaranteed African-Americans the right to vote by enforcing the 15th Amendment.
Thanks to civil rights activists, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, American society moved forward to promote equality. The Civil Rights Movement continues to inspire those who still suffer discrimination and injustices. With that thought in mind, below is a children's book list about The Civil Rights Movement. Our next generations need to know all about the fight against discrimination, injustice, and hate so they can build a better world. 

I am Martin Luther King, Jr. (Ordinary People Change the World) by Brad Meltzer introduces elementary children to the life of the famous civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. with simple and age-appropriate text in prose and graphic bubble dialogue. The story focuses on key the life's events that shaped his ideas and his most important contributions to The Civil Rights Movement.

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson is the story of the youngest civil rights activist to be arrested in a protest in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. This is a great empowering story for children, particularly girls.

John Lewis in the lead by Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson introduces middle graders and up to the life of the civil rights activist and Congressman John Lewis. The book focuses on his contribution to The Civil Rights Movement.

The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko is a beautiful book that teaches elementary children that the law prohibited interracial marriage before 1967. However, Mildred Loving and Richard Perry Loving fought for their right to love and changed the law.

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni tells children all about the choice Rosa Parks made one day at a bus and how that choice inspired The Civil Rights Movement. This stirring book won the Caldecott Honor Book and the Coretta Scott King Award for illustrations.

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh is the amazing story of how a Hispanic family of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage fought for desegregation in the schools of California. This inspiring story won a Pura Belpré Award and a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book in 2015.

As Good as Anybody: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel's Amazing March Toward Freedom by Richard Michelson is the story of how a black Christian boy and a white Jewish boy grew up facing discrimination, injustice, and hate. However, both Martin and Abraham decided to fight for freedom instead of harvesting hate.

In Child of the Civil Rights Movement, Paula Young Shelton tells children about how she grew up experiencing The Civil Rights Movement as the daughter of the civil rights activist Andrew Young. She even participated in the famous march from Selma to Montgomery.

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer – Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford accounts the life of the civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hammer with inspiring poems and striking illustrations. This book won a Caldecott Honor Book, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book, and a John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award in 2016.

Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles is the heartbreaking story of two best friends who like doing similar things. Problem is that Joe is white and John Henry is black in the South during the 1960s. A law prohibiting desegregation finally passes, but the children learn that real integration requires so much more.

Related Posts:

History Bits: Martin Luther King Jr.

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