We’re buying every children’s book from this Black teacher’s viral list

They'll help you teach kids about race and racism in America.

We’re buying every children’s book from this Black teacher’s viral list

When Brittany Smith, a pre-k teacher in New Jersey, witnessed the protests around the country after the killing of George Floyd last year, she knew she had to do something to make a statement. She decided to use her knowledge for good and posted a list of children's books that spoke about race and racism on Twitter in the hopes listeners would include various types of books in more classrooms.

"We want to raise a conscientious generation, and to do that, we need to be mindful of what we're teaching them as children," Smith explained to Time. The tweet has been pinned ever since.

From a young age, having honest and open dialogues about race and racism can help your child develop a much broader and deeper knowledge of these problems as they grow. It sounds simple, but can be a tall order if you don't know where to start. However, your little one's bookshelf can be a great resource if you stock it with titles that approach the topic in kid-friendly ways.

It's hard to curate such an amazing list, but here are some of our favorite children's books that will help you teach children about race and racism in America:

'A is For Activist'


ABCs but make it social justice. This board book makes a perfect primer for even the littlest activists.


'Mixed A Colorful Story'


A simple but straightforward story that teaches kids to not only embrace differences, but celebrate them as well.


'The Proudest Blue'


Written by an Olympic medalist and social justice activist, The Proudest Blue is an inspiring story about confidence and identity and the power of being true to yourself—even when you're challenged.


Amazing Grace


Ideal for sparking conversations about race and gender with young children, the story of spirited Grace remains as important today as it was when it was first published 30 years ago.


Henry's Freedom Box

Henry's Freedom Box

The stunningly illustrated, heart-wrenching tale of a slave who mailed himself to freedom.


'A Kids Book About Racism'

a kids book about racism

We can't say enough good things about the Kids Book About collection. The clear kid-centric explanations make tough topics accessible and easy-to-understand.


‘Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History’

Little Leaders

An easy-to-digest book that highlights black women who changed the world.


‘Rosa Parks (Little People, Big Dreams)’

Rosa Parks

A part of the Little People, BIG DREAMS series, this board book highlights the life of Rosa Parks, who in 1955 refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus.


‘Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation’

Separate Is Never Equal

A story of how Sylvia Mendez and her family helped end school segregation in California long before Brown vs. Board of Education.


‘I am Martin Luther King, Jr. (Ordinary People Change the World)’

Martin Luther King, Jr

Martin Luther King Jr. was an African American activist who became the cornerstone of the civil rights movement. Learn how he shaped the world until his assassination in 1968.


‘Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters’

Let It Shine

From Rosa Parks to Harriet Tubman and Shirley Chisholm, readers will dive into the world of Black freedom fighters who stood up to racial injustice.


‘The Story Of Ruby Bridges: Special Anniversary Edition’

The Story Of Ruby Bridges

Young minds will enjoy the courageous story of American civil rights activist, Ruby Bridges who was the first African American child to integrate into an all-white public elementary school in Louisiana.


‘The Name Jar’

The Name Jar

Unhei learns that being the new kid in school (with a unique name) is very tough. But, she learns to embrace her differences and discover the courage within herself.


‘Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker’

Josephine Baker

Little ones will learn about the vibrant and vocal performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker.


This piece was originally published in June 2020. It has been updated.

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