Celebrating Black History Month


Celebrating Black History Month

by Katie Walter
Posted February 20, 2024

Books and Movies for You and Your Mentee

At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts, we are excited to be celebrating Black History Month as an agency and we invite our Bigs and Littles to celebrate as well! Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the center of our values at the agency, and we want to provide the space and guidance for our Bigs and Littles to be able to engage in these important discussions. We hope you take some time, not just this month, but throughout your match to celebrate the many identities, races, and cultures of our communities.

Books Aged 2 – 8

I AM RUBY BRIDGES, by Ruby Bridges (Books Age 4 – 8) 

Ruby Bridges details her story and shares the events of the historical day in 1960 when she became the first Black child to integrate an all-white elementary school as a six year old girl. This book provides an intimate look through a child’s lens at a landmark moment in United States Civil Rights history.

Where you can find it: Your local library, Amazon

ABC BLACK HISTORY AND ME, by Queenbe Monyei (Ages 2 – 6)

This book takes readers through an inspirational journey through Black history, presenting 26 different concepts, events, and people from A – Z that are vital in understanding the importance of Black American history. “B is for Brave – She took a stand by taking a seat. Rosa changed history by not moving her feet.”

Where you can find it: Your local library, Amazon

A CHILD LIKE YOU, By Na’ima B Robert (Ages 5 – 7)

Inspired by real-life activists – Greta Thunberg, Yusra Mardini, Marley Dias and Iqbal Masih, the four children watch, listen, search, and feel as they experience the inequalities and injustices of life all over the world. This book is a call to children everywhere to speak their truth and stand up for a better world.

Where you can find it: Your local library, Amazon

Books Aged 9 – 13

BLACK KIDS, by Christina Hammonds Reed (Ages 9 – 12)

This book tells the story of Ashley, a black teenager who attends a predominantly white high school in Los Angeles California. While she has lived a fairly happy and healthy life, her world is upended when the Rodney King riots take over L.A in 1992, leaving Ashley to question her identity and place in society. This coming-of-age novel explores issues of race, class, and violence while providing information on a landmark event in Black American history.

Where you can find it: Your local library, Amazon

LIONS OF LITTLE ROCK, By Kristin Levine (Ages 9 – 12)

Set in Arkansas in 1958, the story explores segregation, racism, and prevailing friendships during the tumultuous integration of schools in Little Rock. This historical fiction novel is great for children to understand this important time in American history, as well as the power of friendships.

Where can you find it: Your local Library, Amazon

ROLL OF THUNDER HEAR MY CRY, By Mildred D. Taylor (Ages 10 – 12)

Published in 1977, this coming-of-age novel is told from the point of view of 9-year-old Cassie Logan, who deals with the racial and economic hardships that her family had to endure during the Great Depression. This award winning, bestseller is a great example of one family’s strength and integrity in the face of adversity.

Where you can find it: Your local Library, Amazon

Books for Ages 14+

FREEWATER, By Amina Luqman-Dawson (Ages 12+)

This award-winning novel details the story of two enslaved children’s escape from a Southern plantation. Not only do the children find freedom but they find friendship in a society for formerly enslaved people called Freewater. Deeply inspiring and loosely based on the history of “maroon communities” in the South, this is a striking tale of survival, adventure, friendship, and courage.

Where you can find it: Your local Library, Amazon

THE BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE, By Ta-Nehisi Coates (Age 12 – 17)

Adapted from the adult memoir of the award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates, this story of father-son dynamics explores how boys become men. The novel delves into Coates’s upbringing and the challenges he faced as a young black man and the influence his father, a former Black Panther, had in shaping his identity.

Where you can find it: Your local Library, Amazon


HARRIET (Movie Rated: PG-13)

The amazing story of how Harriet Tubman managed to free herself from slavery and become one of America’s greatest heroes—her bravery, resourcefulness, and determination changed the path of history and freed hundreds of slaves.

Where you can watch: Netflix, Youtube


In 1971 high school football was everything to the people of Alexandria. But when the local school board was forced to integrate an all black school with an all white school, the very foundation of football’s great tradition was put to the test.

Where you can watch: Disney+, Amazon Prime

HIDDEN FIGURES (Movie Rated: PG-13)

The story of African-American women who served as human computers and made other vital contributions to NASA during the 50s and 60s that helped launch the unmanned space flight program.

Where you can watch: Amazon Prime

THE COLOR PURPLE 2023 (Movie Rated: PG-13)

In this coming-of-age musical drama, a young woman names Celie is being raised in rural Georgia in the early 1900s by her abusive father. As just a teenager, Celie is torn away from her family to live with her abusive husband. In the end, Celie finds incredible strength in the unbreakable bonds of a new form of sisterhood.

Where you can watch: Movie theaters!

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