Book Selections for Black History Month Part 3: YA Books

Part three of our Black History Month (BHM) series features books for young adult (YA) readers, ages 12-18. Historian Carter G. Woodson, the second Black American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University—W. E. B. Du Bois was the first—started Negro History Week in 1926 after dedicating many years to researching the achievements of Black Americans. He believed that “those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.” The books in our series fulfill Woodson’s wishes to acknowledge significant people and events in history.  Although Jim Haskins was a prolific writer, it was somewhat difficult to find nonfiction YA books written by Black authors; the choices were slim compared to the Part 1: PB and Part 2: Middle Grade selections. Therefore, of the 32 books listed, some are not specifically marketed to YA readers and may be hard reads; but they are good for reference purposes and discovering unsung heroines and heroes.  For more books, see our “Genres, Themes, and…” page.




The Miseducation of the Negro – Carter G. Woodson

The Miseducation of the Negro – Carter G. Woodson

Slavery's Exiles: The Story of the American Maroons - Sylviane A. Diouf

Slavery's Exiles: The Story of the American Maroons - Sylviane A. Diouf

To Tell the Truth Freely: The Life of Ida B. Wells – Mia Bay

To Tell the Truth Freely: The Life of Ida B. Wells – Mia Bay

Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Alan Steinberg

Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Alan Steinberg

March: Book One – John Lewis & Andrew Aydin

March: Book One – John Lewis & Andrew Aydin

Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman and POW – Alexander Jefferson w/Lewis H. Carlson

Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman and POW – Alexander Jefferson w/Lewis H. Carlson

The Harlem Renaissance – James Haskins

The Harlem Renaissance – James Haskins

Open Wide The Freedom Gates: A Memoir – Dorothy Height

Open Wide The Freedom Gates: A Memoir – Dorothy Height

Today the World Is Watching You: The Little Rock Nine and the Fight for School Integration, 1957 – Kekla Magoon

Today the World Is Watching You: The Little Rock Nine and the Fight for School Integration, 1957 – Kekla Magoon

African American Art and Artists – Samella Lewis

African American Art and Artists – Samella Lewis

Black Hoops: The History of African-Americans in Basketball – Fredrick McKissack Jr.

Black Hoops: The History of African-Americans in Basketball – Fredrick McKissack Jr.

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March – Lynda Blackmon Lowery (as told to Elspeth Leacock & Susan Buckley)

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March – Lynda Blackmon Lowery (as told to Elspeth Leacock & Susan Buckley)

African American Women Chemists – Jeanette Brown

African American Women Chemists – Jeanette Brown

Unbought and Unbossed – Shirley Chisholm

Unbought and Unbossed – Shirley Chisholm

Pennies to Dollars: The Story of Maggie Lena Walker – Muriel Miller Branch

Pennies to Dollars: The Story of Maggie Lena Walker – Muriel Miller Branch

Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series – Elizabeth Alexander

Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series – Elizabeth Alexander

Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey – Marcus Garvey

Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey – Marcus Garvey

The Inventive Spirit of African Americans: Patented Ingenuity – Patricia Carter Sluby

The Inventive Spirit of African Americans: Patented Ingenuity – Patricia Carter Sluby

On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker – A’Lelia Bundles

On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker – A’Lelia Bundles

Succeeding Against All Odds – John H. Johnson w/Lerone Bennett Jr.

Succeeding Against All Odds – John H. Johnson w/Lerone Bennett Jr.

The Power of Black Music: Interpreting Its History from Africa to the United States – Samuel Floyd

The Power of Black Music: Interpreting Its History from Africa to the United States – Samuel Floyd

Charging the Net: A History of Blacks in Tennis from Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe to the Williams Sisters – Cecil Harris

Charging the Net: A History of Blacks in Tennis from Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe to the Williams Sisters – Cecil Harris

The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire – Carol Jenkins & Elizabeth Gardener Hines

Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire – Carol Jenkins & Elizabeth Gardener Hines

Equal Justice Under Law: An Autobiography – Constance Baker Motley

Equal Justice Under Law: An Autobiography – Constance Baker Motley

Brown Sugar: Over 100 Years of America's Black Female Superstars – Donald Bogle

Brown Sugar: Over 100 Years of America's Black Female Superstars – Donald Bogle

Black Theater in America – James Haskins

Black Theater in America – James Haskins

Find Where The Wind Goes: Moments from My Life – Mae Jemison

Find Where The Wind Goes: Moments from My Life – Mae Jemison

Black Firsts: 4,000 Ground-Breaking and Pioneering Historical Events - Jessie Carney Smith

Black Firsts: 4,000 Ground-Breaking and Pioneering Historical Events - Jessie Carney Smith

Soul Train: The Music, Dance, and Style of a Generation – Questlove

Soul Train: The Music, Dance, and Style of a Generation – Questlove

Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey – Alvin Ailey w/A. Peter Bailey

Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey – Alvin Ailey w/A. Peter Bailey

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross – Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross – Henry Louis Gates Jr.

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