Our intention is to acquire and make available ALL picture books featuring Indigenous people and people of color published in the U.S. since 2002, including reprints. Inclusion of a title in the collection DOES NOT EQUAL recommendation. See our related readings page for suggested links for evaluating books.
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Elizabeth Cotten was only a little girl when she picked up a guitar for the first time. It wasn't hers (it was her big brother's), and it wasn't strung right for her (she was left-handed). But she flipped that guitar upside down and backwards and taught herself how to play it anyway. By age eleven, she'd written "Freight Train," one of the most famous folk songs of the twentieth century. And by the end of her life, people everywhere from the sunny beaches of California to the rolling hills of England knew her music.
When Ernie Barnes was growing up in North Carolina in the 1940s, he loved to draw. Even after he played with his friends, he would draw in the mud with a stick. And he never left home without a sketchbook. He would draw the junk man, families walking home from church, or the old man on the sofa. He drew what he saw. But in the segregated South, Ernie didn't know how to make a living as an artist. Ernie grew tall and athletic and became a football star. Soon enough the colleges came calling. Still, in his heart Ernie longed to paint. Would that day ever come? Ernie Barnes was one of the most important artists of his time, known for his style of elongation and movement. His work has influenced a generation of painters and illustrators and can be found in collections and museums such as the California African American Museum as well as the African American Museum in Philadelphia. -- From dust jacket
A gift from Greensboro is a celebration of the magic of childhood friendship and adventure, and a meditation on growing up in the wake of the sit-ins that ushered in the Civil Rights Movement. The poem recognizes that true friendship knows no boundaries, and this is the true gift from Greensboro--Adapted from flap of front cover
Betty Mae Tiger Jumper was born in 1923, the daughter of a Seminole woman and a white man. She grew up in the Everglades under dark clouds of distrust among her tribe who could not accept her at first. As a child of a mixed marriage, she walked the line as a constant outsider. Growing up poor and isolated, she only discovered the joys of reading and writing at age 14. An iron will and sheer determination led her to success, and she returned to her people as a qualified nurse. When her husband was too sick to go to his alligator wrestling tourist job, gutsy Betty Mae climbed right into the alligator pit! Storyteller, journalist, and community activist, Betty Mae Jumper was a voice for her people, ultimately becoming the first female elected Seminole tribal leader.
"Discover the true story of how in 1944, Coach John McLendon orchestrated a secret game between the best players from a white college and his team from the North Carolina College of Negroes. At a time of widespread segregation and rampant racism, this illegal gathering changed the sport of basketball forever"--Dust jacket flap
Tells the story of the legendary jazz musician, from his deeply religious childhood to his career as a boundary- breaking musician who found inspiration in his own unique approach to both spirituality and music
This lyrical picture-book biography of John Coltrane focuses on his childhood and how he interpreted sounds before he made his music
Describes the period of the 20th century when many African Americans left the South to make better lives for themselves in the northern states
"In the nineteenth century, North Carolina slave George Moses Horton taught himself to read and earned money to purchase his time though not his freedom. Horton became the first African American to be published in the South, protesting slavery in the form of verse"--Publisher
"A biography of Paul Robeson, who overcame racial discrimination to become a world-famous African American athlete, actor, singer, and civil rights activist"-- Provided by publisher