Children’s books that discuss race and racism

The Day You Begin2
The death of George Floyd in the United States has sparked a discussion about racism, equality and discrimination in Ireland. 
Research from Harvard University suggests that by age 5 white children are strongly biased towards whiteness. To counter this bias, experts recommend acknowledging and naming race and racism with children as early and as often as possible. Children’s books can be a very good starting point for initiating these critical conversations.
This is a list of books to help:
Little Leaders

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

by Vashti Harrison

can i touch your hair

Can I Touch Your Hair?
Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship

by Irene Latham and Charles Waters

The Day You Begin2

The Day You Begin

by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López


Something Happened in Our Town

by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin

my hair is a garden

My Hair is a Garden

by Cozbi A. Cabrera

When We Were Alone

When We Were Alone

by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Julie Flett

Malcolm Little

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

by Ilyasah Shabazz,
illustrated by AG Ford

Let It Shine

Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters

by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Stephen Alcorn

big umbrella

The Big Umbrella

by Amy June Bates

racism and intolerance

Racism and Intolerance (Children In Our World)

by Louise Spilsbury

hidden figures

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

by Margot Lee Shetterly

separate is never equal

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation

by Duncan Tonatiuh

by Tony Medina

13 Ways of Looking at a Black Boy

by Tony Medina

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