Black History Month Biographies

February is Black History Month, celebrating the accomplishments of black Americans. To help you celebrate and to learn more about the people we commemorate during this time, we have put together a book list of biographies about black Americans who have made history. Find these and many more on our shelves.


Journey to Freedom: Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth was born into slavery. Freed before its abolition, she dedicated her life to speaking out against inequality in all forms. She became one of the nation's foremost abolitionists and an important women's-rights advocate.

Escape North! The Story of Harriet Tubman

An easy-to-read, page-turning account of Harriet Tubman's life--from her childhood in slavery to her years as a conductor on the Underground Railroad to her later work as a suffragette and as a spy in the Civil War. This remarkable true story brings to life one of America's greatest female role models.

The Bus Ride That Changed History: The Story of Rosa Parks

In 1955, a young African-American woman named Rosa Parks took a big step for civil rights when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. The bus driver told her to move. Jim Crow laws told her to move. But Rosa Parks stayed where she was, and a chain of events was set into motion that would eventually change the course of American history. Fifty years later, The Bus Ride That Changed History retraces that chain of events by introducing the civil rights movement one idea at a time.

Who Was Maya Angelou?

Born in Missouri in 1928, Maya Angelou had a difficult childhood. Jim Crow laws segregated blacks and whites in the South. Her family life was unstable at times. But much like her poem, "Still I Rise," Angelou was able to lift herself out of her situation and flourish. Angelou's writing became her defining talent. Her poems and books, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, brought her international acclaim.

What Was Your Dream, Dr. King?: And Other Questions About Martin Luther King Jr.

Why were schools, drinking fountains, and movie theatres segregated by race? Why did more than 250,000 people march in Washington, DC in 1963? What was Martin Luther King, Jr.'s big dream--and has it come true? All of these and other “must-know” questions about the civil rights hero are answered in this engaging new book.

Ali: An American Champion

The impressive life story of Muhammad Ali is interwoven with vital moments in American history in this visually stunning, full-color biography. The story of famed boxing champion Muhammad Ali is more appealing and accessible than ever before when told as though it’s happening in real time, through photographs and ephemera such as report cards and training regimens, and through newspaper articles, interviews, letters to the editor, and “breaking news” radio and TV transmissions that have been created by the author based on his extensive research.

Obama: The Historic Journey

Including his inauguration as the 44th president of the United States, this beautifully designed book tells the extraordinary story of Barack Obama's life and rise to the power in both words and photographs.

Plus, here's a great list of many others to learn about and celebrate during Black History Month, including writers, entertainers, scientists, civil rights activists, athletes, and so much more!

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