6 Titles to Celebrate Black Women’s History


Six Black women walk the runway in gowns as audiences look on from both sides with the words "Celebrate Black Women's History" at the top of the image

With both Black History Month and Women’s History Month approaching, what better way to celebrate than by honoring the contributions of Black women? These titles introduce young readers to influential Black women who made their mark in a variety of fields, including fashion, music, literature, sports, and activism.

Cover of Miles of Style showing Eunice W. Johnson standing in front of a clothing rack

Miles of Style: Eunice W. Johnson and the EBONY Fashion Fair

By Lisa D. Brathwaite
Illustrated by Lynn Gaines

“Brathwaite’s wonderfully researched picture-book biography introduces elementary audiences to the impressive life and achievements of Eunice W. Johnson, a pioneer of Black fashion and cofounder of EBONY magazine . . . Gaines fills the pages from top to bottom with color, pattern, and texture—well suited to the topic at hand.” — Booklist

Cover of Little Melba and Her Big Trombone showing young melba playing the trombone

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

By Katheryn Russell-Brown
Illustrated by Frank Morrison

⭐ “Music lovers will enjoy this picture-book biography of Melba Liston (1926-1999), child prodigy and virtuoso trombonist who collaborated with most 20th century jazz greats. An excellent match of breezy text and dynamic illustrations tells an exhilarating story. . . A celebration of the talent and success of a little-known African American female musician, this title will enrich library collections.” — School Library Journal, starred review

Download the teacher’s guide and check out the Spanish edition!

Cover of Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou showing Maya Angelou holding a book and a birdcage

Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

By Bethany Hegedus
Illustrated by Tonya Engel

This beautiful biography of Maya Angelou describes how she rose above a childhood of trauma and emotional pain to become one of the most inspiring voices of our lifetime.

⭐ “An important and powerful addition to any biography collection.” — School Library Journal, starred review

Download the teacher’s guide.

Cover of Stacey Abrams: Lift Every Voice showing Stacey in the foreground and people heading to the poles in the back

Stacey Abrams: Lift Every Voice

By Sarah Warren
Illustrated by Monica Mikai

“This is a comprehensive, inspiring biography of a leader whose moral compass guides her work. Mikai’s art faithfully represents Abrams at different ages and in various settings and helps communicate to young readers the experiences that distinguish Abrams’ life as well as the social situations and power dynamics that inform her priorities.” — Kirkus Reviews

Download the teacher’s guide.

Cover of She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm showing Shirley flashing peace signs at a podium with the US Capitol in the background and an audience in front of her

She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm

By Katheryn Russell-Brown
Illustrated by Eric Velasquez

A timely, inspiring picture book biography of the dynamic twentieth-century educator, activist, and politician Shirley Chisholm.

⭐ “Important history made beautiful and engaging.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Download the teacher’s guide.

Marvelous Mabel: Figure Skating Superstar showing Mabel leaping through the air on ice skates

Marvelous Mabel: Figure Skating Superstar

By Crystal Hubbard
Illustrated by Alleanna Harris

Meet Mabel Fairbanks, the skating superstar who became the first Black athlete inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

“Perseverance lies at the center of this affecting biography.” — Publishers Weekly

Download the teacher’s guide.

More Resources
10 Books by Black Authors for Black History Month 2023
2022 Women’s History Month Book and Resource Roundup



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