READ: 14 books for your young, gifted and black child
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By Jerusha Washington and Lauren Floyd, Honeycomb Moms
The images children see on TV, in magazines and movies can sometimes shape how they see themselves for better or worse.
"There are so many societal images that portray all things light and white as right," Honeycomb mom Lauren Floyd said. "I consider it my job to teach my caramel colored child to see beauty in all shades, to see beauty in himself."
There are some wonderful children's books out today that serve that aim.
"They move the stories of black children from the margins of society to center stage," Lauren said.
These are some of our favorites at Honeycomb Moms.
By Innosanto Nagara
This is the perfect book for a woke mama to share with an older child and teach concepts of advocacy and social justice.
Don’t let the title fool you though. This is not your typical alphabet book. The author takes the opportunity to focus on vocab instead of highlighting letters on each page. Use this book to instill respect for others' differences and to teach your child to value individuality and stand for the underrepresented.
By Betty K. Bynum
This book highlights that there are many shades of pretty black girls. It emphasizes the importance of support and strong friendships. This is age appropriate female empowerment at its finest.
By Andrew Blackburn
A story about love, this is such a sweet baby book. From the Hallmark Mahogany collection, this is the perfect introduction to black imagery for your child.
By Karen Katz
As an artist takes her daughter around the neighborhood to point out all of the beautiful shades of brown, the reader is taken on a similar journey that ends in appreciation of difference.
By Jabari Asim
I love any book that teaches children of color to appreciate the beauty of their skin, Lauren said. This one does exactly that by doting on one little boy's beautiful brown knees.
By Sharon Dennis Wyeth
Teaching your child to find beauty in the small joys of life is invaluable in today’s world. This book does an amazing job of highlighting the often-overlooked beauty of the inner city.
By Alonda Williams
Honeycomb mom Jessica Hawkins recommends this one for school-aged kids. In the story, Penny struggles to fit in because all of her friends have straight hair.
"She finds power in her puffs, and all her friends low key want to be her in the end," Jessica said.
By Robert Coles
Lauren just can't imagine a book list about empowering black children without this title. It's set in 1960, after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education, which deemed racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional. Ruby is the first black child to desegregate one all white school.
"Her story is monumental," Lauren said.
By Barack Obama
In more ways than one, Ruby Bridges and activists like her paved the way for our first black president, Barack Obama. He's also the author of his very own children's book that highlights historical figures who shaped America and in the process, teaches acceptance.
"This book is a moving tribute to his daughters," Lauren said.
By Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
Nothing warms my heart quite like seeing a boy with his father. In this story, we get to see how much it means to one boy to get his first haircut with his dad.
"This is a story about pride in appearance, overcoming fear and that special bond between a father and son," Lauren said.
By Mary Hoffman
Classmates tell the imaginative and artistic Grace she can't play Peter Pan in their school production because she's a black girl and not a white boy.
"But the devil is a liar," Lauren said. "Watch her shine."
By Crystal Swain-Bates
This is the perfect book if your child has kinky, coily hair. Teach her early to be proud and embrace her beautiful tresses. You can also use this book for styling inspiration.
By Grace Byers
This book teaches kindness and perseverance. Not only should your child feel empowered after reading it, but she will have the tools to empower others.
By Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
Whip this book out when your incorrigible little one is working on your last nerve. Let this cute, singsongy book give the instructions your baby just won’t take from you. And let the ending remind you to love on your little one through the craziness.