Someone Like Me: 10 Books That Celebrate Black Kids

Representation matters.

On January 20, the world watched history being made at the Presidential Inauguration. Millions of people witnessed Senator Kamala Harris being sworn in as the first female Vice President. Madame Vice President is also the first African-American and Asian-American in her role.

As people of various races, religions, and orientations took the stage that day, one thing was true for many of them: They were the first person like them to be in that position. Change was happening before our very eyes.

From the moment the election results came in, social media platforms were flooded with images of Black and Brown girls using the hashtag #MYVPLooksLikeMe in celebration of what this monumental reflection of representation looks like. These images brought inspiration and hope for children, not just young girls, around the world.

For many Black people, especially those of older generations, representation is not a concept we are very familiar with. When we are in the media, we’re generally portrayed negatively. But this narrative is beginning to change. Black and Brown children today are seeing more of themselves in toys, games, movies, clothing, and books. It’s a step, but an important one.

Are you doing your part to shine a brighter light on kids of color? In honor of Black History Month, here’s a list of books that showcase, uplift, and celebrate Black children and should be added to your child’s library.

  1. Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea is an uplifting tale of determination, strength and community when this dynamic sister duo have a big idea that can bring about big change in their neighborhood. And yes, this was totally written about Madame Vice President Kamala Harris and her sister Maya!
  2. The Adventures of Spy Girl follows the story of 7-year-old Nadia who takes on a new adventure during a weekend at her grandparents’ house. In this short story, Nadia navigates her way through a mystery utilizing her faith and guidance from a few people along the way. 
  3. Hey Black Child is an empowering poem that fills each page with inspiration and encouragement that dares children to dream big and push to achieve their goals.
  4. Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History and Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History move children beyond the history books by bringing the true stories of Black icons to life. From civil rights leaders to pop icons and athletes, each book shares the heroic actions of trailblazers that made history and continue to impact the world today. 
  5. The Steam Chasers: We Made That takes young readers on a journey through the city with six friends who discover the everyday things we use that were invented by Black people. Follow this adventurous group of friends into space as they explore the contributions of Black men and women in astrophysics, space exploration, and astronomy in The Steam Chasers: The Blackness of Space.
  6. I Am: Positive Affirmations for Brown Boys gives young Brown boys page after page of encouragement, love, and confidence in this book designed to build their self-esteem.
  7. What Will I Be? explores with young readers the endless possibilities when they think about their futures by highlighting a myriad of unique careers from race car driving to scuba diver, there’s no limits to what one can become
  8. Big Hair, Don’t Care is a lovely reminder to little girls with big, curly, textured hair that there is beauty in their uniqueness and it’s OK to wear their luxurious hair proudly, even if they’ll look different from others at school.

While these books are a celebration of Black children through representation, they are for readers of all ages and all races. It is also very important for non-Black children to read books with BIPOC characters to foster acceptance, inclusion, and diversity.

Here’s to celebrating our differences and starting the celebration at a young age. Because while Madame Vice President is the first Black and South Indian and woman in her role, as she says, she won’t be the last. 

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