CMA Stories

Black History Month Reading List

Our friends at Hudson Park Library in SoHo helped us compile a reading list for Black History Month, with selections ranging from the Coretta-Scott-King-Award-winning Beautiful Blackbird to recent releases from Amanda Gorman and Kimberly Drew. Snuggle up in a cozy spot and get reading!

Beautiful Blackbird written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan

In a story of the Ila people, the colorful birds of Africa ask Blackbird, whom they think is the most beautiful of birds, to decorate them.

Black Is a Rainbow Color written by Angela Joy and illustrated by Ekua Holmes

A child reflects on the meaning of being Black in this moving and powerful anthem about a people, a culture, a history and a legacy that lives on.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon C. James

Celebrates the magnificent feeling that comes from walking out of a barber shop with newly-cut hair.

Hair Love written by Matthew A. Cherry and illustrated by Vashti Harrison

A little girl’s daddy steps in to help her arrange her curly, coiling, wild hair into styles that allow her to be her natural, beautiful self.

Hey Black Child written by Useni Eugene Perkins and illustrated by Bryan Collier

A lyrical, empowering poem that celebrates black children and seeks to inspire all young ones to dream big and achieve their goals.

Nina: Jazz Legend and Civil Rights Activist Nina Simone written by Alice Briere-Haquet and illustrated by Bruno Liance

Shared as a lullaby to her daughter, a soulful song recounts Simone’s career, the trials she faced as an African American woman, and the stand she took during the Civil Rights Movement.

Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment written by Parker and Jessica Curry and illustrated by Bea Jackson

In a story inspired by the young author’s viral photo of her awestruck response to First Lady Michelle Obama’s portrait, a young girl visits Washington, D.C’s National Portrait Gallery and finds her life transformed by the historical examples of its subjects.

Thank You, Omu! written and illustrated by Oge Mora

When the aroma of Omu’s homemade stew fills the air, her neighbors arrive, one by one, for a taste until all is gone except for her generous spirit.

Someday Is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins written by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and illustrated by Jade Johnson

An inspirational story of the celebrated civil rights leader, Clara Luper, who led one of the first lunch-counter sit-ins in America.

The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country by Amanda Gorman

The powerful and historic poem read at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, from the youngest presidential inaugural poet in US history.

This Is What I Know About Art written by Kimberly Drew and illustrated by Amanda Lukashevsky

Drew shows us that art and protest are inextricably linked and challenges us to create space for the change that we want to see in the world.

Pictured: The Fireplace by Rosemarie Moyano, Age 11, India / Philippines. Part of CMA’s Permanent Collection.

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