February is Black History Month. More than a date on the calendar, this is an opportunity to seek out the stories of our past that shape our culture, and become active participants in creating our cultural narrative. Black history is American history. February is the month that we are reminded to recognize and integrate our rich American cultural heritage.

Young minds are the most fertile grounds for creating positive narratives about the cultures that make up our nation. Books are a powerful and necessary tool for teaching our children about black history.

At Three Key Years, reading to children is one of our prime messages. Science has definitively proven that building strong brains in children through reading is crucial to building a strong, healthy society. Below we have compiled a list of books to make it easy to participate actively in, and celebrate Black History Month.

Brown Boy Brown Boy What Can You Be?

By Ameshia Arthur (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)

A story about a boy named Matthew who who asks himself a very simple but powerful question: Brown Boy Brown Boy, What Can You Be? From a scientist who studies bumblebees to a meteorologist who predicts the weather, the sky is the limit for Matthew and all children.

Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X

by Ilyasah Shabazz (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

A unique glimpse into the childhood of her father, Malcolm X’s daughter and author Ilyasah Shabazz delivers a lyrical story that carries a message that resonates still today—that we must all strive to live to our highest potential.

I Love My Hair

By Natasha Tarpley (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

A girl named Keyana discovers the beauty and magic of her special hair, encouraging black children to be proud of their heritage and enhancing self-confidence.

Miss Tizzy

By Libba Moore Gray (Aladdin)

The neighbors may think Miss Tizzy quite peculiar, but the children love her. They love her colorful house and her colorful clothes, but most of all they love the special attention she pays to them all. Together, they bake cookies, make pictures full of sunshine and butterflies for folks who have stopped smiling, play dress-up, put on puppet shows and parades, or stretch out on bright quilts in Miss Tizzy’s backyard of an evening to sing moon songs.

Moses When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

By Carole Boston Weatherford (Hyperion Book CH)

In this award-winning book, acclaimed author Carole Boston Weatherford and bestselling artist Kadir Nelson offer a resounding, reverent tribute to Harriet Tubman, the woman who earned the name Moses for her heroic role in the Underground Railroad.