black history month

Check out CLP’s Black History Month reading lists and events for the whole family

Photo above by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash.

If you’re searching for good books for the whole family during Black History Month, the folks at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) have suggestions.

CLP partnered with several local organizations and experts on Black history and the Black experience in our region, including Hill District residents and educators from the August Wilson Archives at the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Public Theater, to create their 2023 Partner Book List.

They’ve also curated Black History Month lists for children and adults, and CLP is hosting a range of family-friendly events, including Kids Club and Teen Time gatherings and self-directed activities in the Teenspace at various branches.

You can explore the full list of events right here and find the reading lists below.

Black History Month 2023 Partner Book List

Punch Me Up to the Gods by Brian Broome

The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience: An Anthology by Various Authors

Hood Feminism: Notes From the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall

Selected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes

Writing Beyond Race: Living Theory and Practice by bell hooks

Why Wakanda Matters: What Black Panther Reveals About Psychology, Identity and Communication by Various Authors

American Sirens: The Incredible Story of the Black Men Who Became America’s First Paramedics by Kevin Hazzard

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays by Damon Young

Black History Month Children’s Nonfiction

“The lives of Black people, past and present, real and imaginary, are illuminated in the appealing titles below,” the CLP team tells us. “Whether you choose the straight-forward biography of a contemporary activist, an alphabet book that traces the trajectory of Black history or an illustrated poem that portrays a child’s shifting emotions and experiences, you’ll find plenty to pore over and enjoy.”

Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart by Zetta Elliott and Noa Denmon

The ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez

Build a House by Rhiannon Giddens

The People Remember by Ibi Aanu Zoboi

Black History Month Adult Nonfiction

The selections below are by Black authors who explore joy, discovery, creativity and excellence. Representing a wide spectrum of nonfiction, from crafting to cooking to sports to narrative essay (and some combining more than one!), these titles are, at their core, celebratory and enriching reads.

Inciting Joy: Essays by Ross Gay

Nature Swagger: Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors by Rue Mapp

Rise of the Black Quarterback: What It Means for America by Jason Reid

Fix Me a Plate: Traditional and New School Soul Food Recipes From Scotty Scott of Cook Drank Eat by Scotty Scott

My Pretty Brown Doll: Crochet Patterns for a Doll That Looks Like You by Yolonda Jordan

AphroChic: Celebrating the Legacy of the Black Family Home by Jeanine Hays

Soul Culture: Black Poets, Books and Questions That Grew Me Up by Remica Risher-Bingham