Our collection of picture books featuring Black and Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC) is available to the public. *Inclusion of a title in the collection DOES NOT EQUAL a recommendation.* Click here for more on book evaluation.
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Down on James Street
"The moon lit the riverbank as George and Dorothy each made their way to the teen dance hall. It’s 1935, and sons and daughters of black and white workers in Pittsburgh look forward to having some fun dancing the Lindy Hop, until the police come in and break up the dance…with their bully clubs.The teens all scatter, but Dorothy has a plan to save the dance. Is George ready to join the fight? Or will he play it safe and just go home to his family? Down on James Street is based on a real historical incident in 1930’s Pittsburgh. Today, young and old can take inspiration from this wonderful story of courage and solidarity, with gorgeous illustrations by Byron Gramby that summon up the style and the cool of that long-gone era." -- publisher
"This picture book tells the inspiring story of Wangari Maathai, women’s rights activist and one of the first environmental warriors. Wangari began the Green Belt Movement in Kenya in the 1960s, which focused on planting trees, environmental conservation, and women’s rights. She inspired thousands across Africa to plant 30 million trees in 30 years and was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize." -- publisher
We are still here!
"Too often, Native American history is treated as a finished chapter instead of relevant and ongoing. This companion book to the award-winning We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga offers readers everything they never learned in school about Native American people’s past, present, and future. Precise, lyrical writing presents topics including: forced assimilation (such as boarding schools), land allotment and Native tribal reorganization, termination (the US government not recognizing tribes as nations), Native urban relocation (from reservations), self-determination (tribal self-empowerment), Native civil rights, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), religious freedom, economic development (including casino development), Native language revival efforts, cultural persistence, and nationhood." -- publisher
Beautiful Shades of Brown
"Growing up in the late 19th century, Laura Wheeler Waring didn't see any artists who looked like her. She didn't see any paintings of people who looked like her, either. As a young woman studying art in Paris, she found inspiration in the works of Matisse and Gaugin to paint the people she knew best. Back in Philadelphia, the Harmon Foundation commissioned her to paint portraits of accomplished African-Americans. Her portraits still hang in Washington DC's National Portrait Gallery, where children of all races can admire the beautiful shades of brown she captured." -- publisher
"You've seen the building. Now meet the man whose life went into it. Philip Freelon's grandfather was an acclaimed painter of the Harlem Renaissance. His father was a successful businessman who attended the 1963 March on Washington. When Phil decided to attend architecture school, he created his own focus on African American and Islamic designers. He later chose not to build casinos or prisons, instead concentrating on schools, libraries, and museums--buildings that connect people with heritage and fill hearts with joy. And in 2009, Phil's team won a commission that let him use his personal history in service to the country's: the extraordinary Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon celebrates a contemporary black STEAM role model, a man whose quiet work enabled the creation of an iconic building reflecting America's past and future. With a stirring text by Kelly Starling Lyons, vibrant pictures by Laura Freeman, and an afterword from Philip Freelon himself, it is sure to inspire the next generation of dreamers and builders." -- publisher
Martin Luther King Jr.
"In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Martin Luther King Jr., the inspiring minister and civil rights activist. Little Martin grew up in a family of preachers: his dad was a preacher, his uncle was a preacher, his grandfather was a preacher…so maybe he’d become a great preacher too. One day, a friend invited him to play at his house. Martin was shocked when his mother wouldn’t let him in because he was black. That day he realized there was something terribly unfair going on. Martin believed that no one should remain silent and accept something if it's wrong. And he promised himself that—when he grew up—he’d fight injustice with the most powerful weapon of all: words. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the inspiring activist’s life." -- publisher
William Still and his freedom stories
"William Still’s parents escaped slavery but had to leave two of their children behind, a tragedy that haunted the family. As a young man, William went to work for the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, where he raised money, planned rescues, and helped freedom seekers who had traveled north. One day, a strangely familiar man came into William’s office, searching for information about his long-lost family. Could it be? Motivated by his own family’s experience, William Still began collecting the stories of thousands of other freedom seekers. As a result, he was able to reunite other families and build a remarkable source of information, including encounters with Harriet Tubman, Henry “Box” Brown, and William and Ellen Craft." -- publisher
Feed Your Mind
August Wilson (1945–2005) was a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who had a particular talent for capturing the authentic, everyday voice of black Americans. As a child, he read off soup cans and cereal boxes, and when his mother brought him to the library, his whole world opened up. After facing intense prejudice at school from both students and some teachers, August dropped out. However, he continued reading and educating himself independently. He felt that if he could read about it, then he could teach himself anything and accomplish anything. Like many of his plays, Feed Your Mind is told in two acts, revealing how Wilson grew up to be one of the most influential American playwrights. --from publisher
Missy is trying to decide what to buy during her weekly Daddy Day when she meets a new friend and learns she can buy pizza for people who cannot afford a slice. Includes facts about Rosa's Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia.
Ona Judge outwits the Washingtons
"Soon after American colonists had won independence from Great Britain, Ona Judge was fighting for her own freedom from one of America's most famous founding fathers, George Washington. George and Martha Washington valued Ona as one of their most skilled and trustworthy slaves, but she would risk everything to achieve complete freedom. Born into slavery at Mount Vernon, Ona seized the opportunity to escape when she was brought to live in the President's Mansion in Philadelphia. Ona fled to New Hampshire and started a new life. But the Washingtons wouldn't give up easily. After her escape, Ona became the focus of a years- long manhunt, led by America's first president. Gwendolyn Hooks' vivid and detailed prose captures the danger, uncertainty, and persistence Ona Judge experienced during and after her heroic escape."--Provided by publisher