Black History Month

Collage image of book covers for Black History Month

Celebrate Black History Month!

February is Black History Month, an annual commemoration of the achievements, contributions, and experiences of Black Americans. It is a time to reflect on the continued struggle for racial justice, as well as honor Black historical figures and celebrate Black joy!

Join us in amplifying Black voices and characters! Check out blog posts by author and educator, Nikki Shannon Smith, and librarian, Bianca Johnson, browse the curated collection of titles featuring Black authors, historical figures, or characters, and download resources for your classroom and library.

Capstone believes it is important to remember that Black History is American History, and the celebration is not confined to this one month, but for the entirety of the year.

Storytime Read-Aloud

Capstone presents award-winning author-illustrator Floyd Cooper’s Juneteenth for Mazie as a free read-aloud video. We hope students enjoy the story of Mazie as she learns about the struggles and triumphs of her enslaved ancestors' full emancipation. 

Juneteenth, Juneteenth for Mazie, June 19

When the Past Meets the Present... While You're Writing

Headshot photo of author Nikki Shannon Smith

By Nikki Shannon Smith, author of Lena and the Burning of Greenwood and the Azaleah Lane series

"1921 and 2021: separated by one hundred years, yet in some ways, not separate at all. The past always influences the present, and the present always reflects the past. But events during these two years—1921 and 2021—were hauntingly similar. . . . The hard work was not researching the Tulsa Race Massacre or writing Lena’s story. The hard work was carrying the grief I still held in my heart from 2020, enduring the weight and waiting of 2021, and writing a story about one of the ugliest events in history—all while paying homage to the people of Greenwood—to my people—and elevating their beauty, resilience, ingenuity, and strength. It was a strength I was beginning to doubt I possessed." 

5 Standout Books on Democracy, Equity & Equality

Headshot photo of librarian Bianca Johnson

By Bianca Johnson, high school Library Media Specialist in Riverdale, Maryland

"For Black History Month I wanted to curate a list of important books based upon the current cultural issues taking place throughout America today and to provide students with a greater understanding of how history can repeat itself to its own detriment if there is not a proper understanding of its history. It is my hope that students will realize the relevance of these books in the current fight for voting rights with Emancipation Proclamation Inkstand, equality for all citizens with Brown v. Board of Education, athletic activism with Athletes Against War and Athletes for Gender Equality, and the racial genocide that took place in Tulsa with Lena and the Burning of Greenwood."

Celebrating Black Joy

With stories highlighting everyday experiences, like solving the mystery of a missing pet or helping out in your community, to extraordinary experiences, like being an official member of superhero Max Axiom’s Society of Super Scientists (we all want to be on that team!), here are some of our favorite books that celebrate Black joy. Featuring Black primary characters, these positive stories center on Black children being their beautiful, smart, curious, creative, fun-loving selves. 

Image of book covers with text: "5 Children's Books Featuring Black Characters"

Educator Resources & Downloadables

Thumbnail image of coloring sheet from Azaleah Lane book series
Azaleah Lane
Coloring Sheet
Thumbnail image of coloring sheet from Azaleah Lane book series
Azaleah Lane
Coloring Sheet
Thumbnail image of Making a Diorama Activity from Azalea Lane book series
Azaleah Lane
Make A Diorama Project 
Image of Mr. Grizley's Class series bookmarks

Mr. Grizley's Class
Image of question and answer infographic with author Gwendolyn Hooks
Q&A With Author
Gwendolyn Hooks 
Image of question and answer infographic with author Nikki Shannon Smith
Q&A With Author
Nikki Shannon Smith 

Books for Black History Month

For Black History Month, we’ve curated a collection of titles featuring biographies of notable civil rights leaders, scientists, athletes, and more, as well as compelling historical fiction and nonfiction stories.

Covers of books for Black History Month booklist