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 author and educator Dr. Artika R. Tyner’s ideas for teaching Black History Month, learn more about the story of The Ashe Brothers, get an exclusive look inside our new picture book about The Fillmore District, download resources for your classroom and library, browse our curated collection of titles featuring Black authors, historical figures, and favorite characters, and more.
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.
5 Ideas for Black History Month
For Dr. Artika R. Tyner, a passionate educator, author, and advocate for justice, Black History Month serves as an invitation to build an inclusive classroom by engaging all learners. In her post, she poses 5 questions for educators to think about when teaching Black History Month.
“Through my writings, I seek to inspire Black children to find the role models that motivate them to learn, grow, and lead. It follows the notion that you cannot be what you cannot see. For Black children, these leaders are not always featured in mainstream texts. Even if they are, they are celebrated only during Black History Month. My goal is to celebrate the accomplishments of Black leaders year-round and to incorporate their accomplishments into the lessons taught about American history.”
Meet Judy Allen Dodson
The Ashe Brothers: How Arthur and Johnnie Changed Tennis Forever is a story that transcends sports. We sat down with archivist, librarian, and author Judy Allen Dodson to talk about her picture book debut, a layered story about sibling love and sacrifice.
Diversity is a Gift
From music to art to poetry, creativity filled the air in the historical Fillmore District. The creativity and inclusion brought communities together—with no exceptions. Everyone was welcome, and everyone was accepted.
In our conversation with author Rachel Werner, we talk about her forthcoming picture book, Moving and Grooving to Fillmore's Beat (debuting in Fall 2023), a lyrical story about the rich multi-ethnic history of The Fillmore District, what inspires her, and why learning about the past is important.
Storytime Read Aloud
Capstone presents the late 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.
Celebrating Black Joy
With stories highlighting everyday experiences, like going on a class field trip 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, and fun-loving selves.
Educator Resources & Downloadables
The Ashe Brothers
Mr. Grizley's Class
Mr. Grizley's Class
Jalen's Big City Life
Q&A With Author
Q&A With Author
Nikki Shannon Smith
Meet Dorothy H. Price
We Need Diverse Books Mentee Dorothy H. Price brings authentic voice and experience to her debut early chapter book series, Jalen’s Big City Life. Perfect for early reader fans of Yasmin, Katie Woo, and Pedro, the stories in Jalen’s Big City Life center on realistic adventures in a city setting and teach important lessons including kindness, responsibility, sharing, and respect. Hear from Dorothy about her exciting new series.
When the Past Meets the Present
When author Nikki Shannon Smith began writing Lena and the Burning of Greenwood, she had an eerie sense of déjà vu with current events mirroring those of 100 years earlier. In her essay, Nikki shares the raw and emotional journey of writing about one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history and how she poured all her love into telling the truth about the past.
"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."
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.