SELECTED RESOURCES FOR THE STUDY OF AFRICAN, AFRICAN AMERICAN, MEXICAN AMERICAN, AND PUERTO RICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE
This beginning list of resources is not meant to be a formal bibliography. These books, articles, and some multi-media refer mainly to African and African Americans with some references related to the heritage of Puerto Rican and Mexican people. These books were chosen for their uniqueness and attractiveness. Most have rich texts mixed with abundant pictures, photographs, and illustrations that make them engaging for students of many grade levels and highly accessible for research and reference. Teachers use them in various ways for enhancement of traditional curriculum units.
LARGE FORMAT BOOKS OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF AFRICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN LIFE
These are rich resources for pictures to use as writing prompts, in student reports and to enhance units in all areas.
12 Million Black Voices by Richard Wright
Interesting book by the great author with text and lots of photos!
The African Americans: A Celebration of Achievement
Edited by Charles Collins, Davis Cohen, introduction by John Hope Franklin
The Black Book by Middleton Harris
Unique pictorial book of photographs, drawings, replicas, and text.
Black: A Celebration of a Culture by Deborah Willis
Important photographs from early century times to the present.
Face Forward: Young African American Men in a Critical Age by Julian C. R. Okwu
Wonderful book of photographs and short interviews with more than 40 young men.
Freedom: A Photographic History of the African American Struggle edited by Manning Marable and Leith Mullings
Huge collector’s book of photographs from African American life from all periods — indispensable.
Feeling the Spirit: Searching the World for the People of Africa by Chester Higgins Jr.
Wonderful huge book of photographs.
One More River to Cross: An African American Photograph Album
by Walter Dean Myers
Wonderful photographs that date back in time — families and individuals in the 1800s.
Passages: Photographs in Africa by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher
Photographs of continental African people.
Sacred Bond: Black Men and Their Mothers by Keith Michael Brown
Impressive book of photographs and short interviews with more than 30 successful young men relating the influence of their mothers on their lives.
Songs of My People: African Americans: A Self-Portrait edited by Eric Easter and Dudley M. Brooks
A large format book of photographs.
Photographs by J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere
Full page photographs of hairstyles of African women.
Voices from Within: Photographs of African Children by A. Olusegun Fayemi
Large format book of unique and engaging photographs.
AFRICAN HISTORY 15TH TO 19TH CENTURY
Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595 (The Royal Diaries)
by Patricia McKissack
A children’s book.
Ancient African Town by Fiona MacDonald and Gerald Wood
Large format pictorial book — engaging aerial views of a 17th-century town.
Mansa Musa: The Lion of Maliby Khephra Burns, Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon
Beautiful children’s picture book.
The Royal Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay: Life in Medieval Africa
by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack
Written for young people.
Ghana Mali Songhay: The Western Sudan (African Kingdoms of the Past)
by Kenny Mann
Photos and original drawings.
The Kingdoms of Africa by Philip Koslow
A series of books from Chelsea House Publishers (excellent photos and drawings).
AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY — GENERAL
Black Heritage: Volume One 1700s to the Early 1900s
An eye-catching set of jumbo postcards of the Black Heritage series U.S. postage stamps.
De Nyew Testament (The New Testament in Gullah) by The Sea Island Translation Team in cooperation with the Wycliff Bible Translation
Harriet and the Promised Land by Jacob Lawrence
Children’s book about Harriet Tubman with colorful paintings and text by Jacob Lawrence.
Historic Speeches of African Americans introduced and selected by Warren J. Halliburton
Jacob Lawrence: The Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman Series of 1938-40Paintings by Jacob Lawrence, edited by Ellen Harkins Wheat
World’s Great Men of Color Volumes 1 and 2 by J.A. Rogers
Historic books that are in the library of every serious student of Africa and African American history.
THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
The Civil Rights Movement: A Photographic History, 1954-68 by Steven Kasher
Indispensable collection of photos and text.
Free At Last: A History of the Civil Rights Movement and Those Who Died in the Struggle by Sara Bullard
Interesting account with photographs of some of the movement’s lesser known heroes.
Freedom’s Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories
by Ellen Levine
I Have a Dream: An Illustrated Edition by Martin Luther King, Jr.
An attractive presentation of King’s speech with illustrations on every other page.
Oh, Freedom!: Kids Talk About the Civil Rights Movement with the People Who Made It Happen by Casey King and Linda Barrett Osborne
Excellent resource with many photographs. Foreword by Rosa Parks.
Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching edited by Deborah Menkart, Alana D. Murray, and Jenice L. View
Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals
A searing memoir of the battle to integrate Little Rock’s Central High.
THE EUROPEAN SLAVE TRADE — THE ENSLAVEMENT OF AFRICAN PEOPLE
Free at Last!: Stories and Songs of Emancipation by Doreen Rappaport
Unique, large format book.
Growing Up in Slavery: Stories of Young Slaves as Told by Themselves edited by Yuval Taylor
Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
Story of an enslaved African boy and his journey to freedom. Second volume in the Arabus Family Saga.
Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation
Library of Congress book and CD. Riveting!
BOOKS RELATING TO MEXICAN AMERICAN AND PUERTO RICAN AMERICAN LIFE
Americanos: Latino Life in the United States by Olmos, Ybarra, Monterrey
A pictorial large-format book of photographs.
In My Family / En mi familia by Carmen Lomas Garza
Paintings and stories of a Mexican American community.
Mama: Latina Daughters Celebrate Their Mothers by Maria Perez-Brown
CHILDREN’S POETRY, GAMES, AND SONGS
Multicultural Games by Lorraine Barbarash
The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children edited by Davida Adedjouma and illustrated by Gregory Christie
Pass It On: African American Poetry for Children selected by Wade Hudson
Remember the Bridge: Poems of a People by Carole Boston Weatherford
Step It Down: Games, Plays, Songs, and Stories from the Afro-American Heritage
by Bessie Jones and Bess Lomax Hawes
Words with Wings: A Treasury of African-American Poetry and Art selected by Belinda Rochelle
YOUNG ADULT POETRY
Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway …and More edited by Danny Simmons
CAREERS — SHOWCASING AFRICAN AMERICANS
“Black Astronaut Aids in Space Station Mission” by Stephanie D. Wilson
Jet magazine article, November 12, 2007, page 17
One page about African American female astronaut.
Magazine always contains many articles related to careers featuring young people.
BOOKS RELATED TO AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC
Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America by Tricia Rose
Highly rated as one of the best.
The Blues Singers: Ten Who Rocked the World by Julius Lester with illustrations by Lisa Cohen
A pictorial book.
Hush Songs: African American Lullabies by Joyce Carol Thomas
Lovely book for children – beautiful illustrations with actual music and lyrics.
Go Down, Moses: Celebrating the African-American Spiritual
by Richard Newman with illustrations by Terrance Cummings
Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist
Illustration on every page along with lyrics from the “Negro National Anthem.”
BOOKS SHOWCASING AFRICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN ART
Sister Gertrude Morgan: Tools of Her Ministry
Celebrated African American folk artist.
Romare Bearden: Collage of Memories
Large-format, colorful wonderful book of Bearden’s paintings for children and adults.
Traditional African Designs by Gregory Mirow
A book of African symbols and designs representative of many nations, interesting and useful for art and social studies.
Treasures of Ancient Nigeria text by Ekpo Eyo and Frank Willett
Beautiful art book.
Walls of Heritage, Walls of Pride: African American Murals
by James Prigoff and Robin J. Dunitz
Wonderful pictorial book of these murals across the nation.
BOOKS ON MULTICULTURAL ISSUES IN EDUCATION
Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise into Practice edited by K. Beers, R. Probst, L. Rief
Black Teachers on Teaching by Michele Foster
Culture, Literacy, and Learning: Taking Bloom in the Midst of the Whirlwindby Carol D. Lee
The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children
by Gloria Ladson-Billings
I Choose to Stay: A Black Teacher Refuses to Desert the Inner City
by Salome Thomas-El
Linking Literacy and Popular Culture: Finding Connections for Lifelong Learning
by Ernest Morrell
Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom by Lisa Delpit with an afterword by Herbert Kohl
The Pedagogy of Confidence: Inspiring High Intellectual Performance in Urban Schoolsby Yvette Jackson
Preparing Teachers for Cultural Diversity edited by Joyce E. King, Etta R. Holllins, Warren C. Hayman
Shooting for Excellence: African American and Youth Culture in New Century Schoolsby Jabari Mahiri
Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males: Closing the Achievement Gap by Alfred W. Tatum
What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy by James Paul Gee
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley
The great autobiography.
Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope written by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Bryan Collier
Inspirational is the word for this glowing picture-book biography...— Booklist
Blacks in Science: Ancient and Modern edited by Ivan Van Sertima
Classic book of little known scientific history.
Frederick Douglass: Autobiographies: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave / My Bondage and My Freedom / Life and Times of Frederick Douglassedited by Henry Louis Gates
This is a one volume set of the autobiographies of the great abolitionist.
Great Black Leaders: Ancient and Modern edited by Ivan Van Sertima
Another classic book by Van Sertima.
Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story by Ben Carson, M.D. with Cecil Murphey
Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman written by Alan Schroeder and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Beautifully illustrated picture book about the childhood of the legendary woman.
More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradby
Picture book about young Booker T. Washington and his thirst for reading.
My Fellow Americans: A Family Album by Alice Provensen
Interesting, unique picture book of American groups by categories.
AFRICAN AMERICAN INVENTORS
African American Inventors (Black Stars) by Otha Richard Sullivan
Black Inventors of America by McKinley Burt, Jr.
The Real McCoy: African-American Invention and Innovation, 1619-1930
by Portia P. James
AFRICAN AMERICAN MATH AND SCIENCE
Unearthing Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching: The Legacy of Gloria Jean Merriex by Emily P. Bonner
Focuses on the theory and practices of a highly successful mathematics teacher of African American children in a high-poverty school. The book aims to contribute to the limited literature base in this area in mathematics education. The discussions in the book center on the ideals of culturally responsive teaching (C.R.T.), and seek to build understanding of this concept in the context of mathematics.
ANTHOLOGIES RELATED TO AFRICAN AMERICAN LIFE — FICTION AND NONFICTION
The African American Book of Values edited with commentary by Steven Barboza
A rich collection.
Ark of Bones and Other Stories by Henry Dumas, edited by Hale Chatfield and Eugene Redmond
An Illustrated Treasury of African American Read-Aloud Stories: More than 40 of the World’s Best-Loved Stories for Parent and Child to Share edited by Susan Kantor
The Norton Anthology of African American Literature edited by Nellie Y. McKay and Henry Louis Gales
African Folktales selected and retold by Roger D. Abrahams
African American Folktales: Stories from Black Traditions in the New World selected by Roger D. Abrahams
HIP HOP YOUTH CULTURE
Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity
by Marc Lamont Hill
Decoded by Jay-Z
Hip Hop America by Nelson George
An insightful look at the hip hop world by a prolific writer of African American popular culture.
The Hip Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture
by Bakari Kitwana
The Rose that Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur
A book of the great rapper’s poems.
EBONICS — THE LANGUAGE OF AFRICAN AMERICANS
Talkin and Testifyin: The Language of Black America by Geneva Smitherman
The Real Ebonics Debate: Power, Language and the Education of African American Children edited by Theresa Perry and Lisa Delpit
AFRICAN AMERICAN HOLIDAYS
The Story of Kwanzaa by Donna L. Washington
Excellent picture book.
“The Magazine of African American History and Culture.”
There are many articles about young people in their 20’s and 30’s.
On newsstands, by subscription and online.
A non-profit independent magazine advocating the reform of elementary and secondary public schools, with an emphasis on urban schools and issues of equity and social justice.