The Book of American Negro Poetry (7-8, 9-12, adult)
edited by James Weldon Johnson
Johnson's anthology, first published in 1922, was one of the first works that brought national attention to the poetry of African-American authors. Today, more than seventy-five years after its publication, this anthology still stands as one of the greatest contributions to African-American literature in the twentieth century.
The Harlem Renaissance (7-8; 9-12)
written by Veronica Chambers
Part of the African-American achievers series, this work examines not only the key figures in the Harlem Renaissance, but also the social and political forces behind the movement.
Pass it On: African American Poetry for Children(Pre-K, 1-3, 4-6)
compiled by Wade Hudson
Hudson assembles in this richly-illustrated volume nineteen poems written by African-American poets which reflect unique aspects of growing up Black in the United States.
Phyllis Wheatley: First African-American Poet(Pre-K; 1-3)
written by Carol Greene; illustrated by Steven Dobson
Part of the Rookie Biographies series, this amply-illustrated work recounts the life of Phyllis Wheatley and includes a few of her works.
The African-American Child's Heritage Cookbook(all ages)
written by Vannessa Roberts Parham
Cookbook includes dozens of ethnic recipes with simple directions that children can follow intermingled with an assortment of African-American historical information.
How Sweet the Sound: African-American Songs for Children (all ages)
compiled by Wade Hudson
This book and accompanying cassette present an overview of the African-American musical heritage, from traditionals African folk tunes to Negro spirituals to the jazz sounds of the twentieth century. Also included are listings of other recommended books and recordings.
Breaking the Chains (4-6, 7-8)
by William Loren Katz
Katz draws from letters, diaries, and other personal slave writings to reveal the active roles many slaves took in bringing about their own emancipation.
The Dred Scott Decision (4-6)
Brendan January (also available in hardback)
A volume in the Cornestones of Freedom series, this book examines the 1857 Supreme Court ruling in its political and historical context.
Freedom's Sons: The True Story of the Amistad Mutiny(4-6; 7-8)
written by Suzanne Jurmain
Jurmain masterfully recreates the 1839 story of mutiny aboard the slave-ship Amistad, the trials of the fifty-three slaves involved in the mutiny, and their eventual freedom.
My Name is Not Angelica (4-6; 7-8)
Newbery-medalist Scott O'Dell relates in this, his final work, through the eyes of sixteen-year old Raisha the events that led up to the great slave rebellion in 1733.
Now Let Me Fly: The Story of a Slave Family (1-3)
written and illustrated by Dolores Johnson
Johnson's tells her story through the voice of Minna, a young African girl, being kidnapped from her African home and sold as a slave in the United States. As the story continues, Minna grows up, marries, and bears four children. Minna is separated from her husband when he is sold and from two of her children when they escape to slavery. In this work, Johnson tactfully but accurately relates the hardships that many slaves endured.
Our Song, Our Toil (4-6, 7-8)
written and illustrated by Michele Stepto
Stepto masterfully weaves together excerpts from slave autobiographies and other historical documents to relate the story of slavery in America.
Follow the Drinking Gourd (Pre-K, 1-3)
written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter (also available in hardback)
In this beautifully-illustrated volume, Peg Leg Joe, an old sailor, travels from plantation to plantation, teaching slaves how to use the Big Dipper (code name "The Drinking Gourd") to navigate their ways North and to freedom. Also included are music and complete lyrics to the the theme song of the Underground Railroad, "Follow the Drinking Gourd." If You Traveled On the Underground Railroad (4-6)
written by Ellen Levine
A part of Scholastic's If You Lived series, this book uses a question-and-answer format to explain what the Underground Railroad was and how it helped slaves prior to the Civil War.
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