Black History Month is celebrated every year in February to celebrate the achievements of African-Americans since the 1970ies. Since the 1990ies it is also celebrated in Germany, though with a slightly different focus. Children's books in German matching this topic are not so easy to find. Here are two great books on the legend Rosa Parks that inspire kids. If you know of any others, let me know!
Lisbeth Kaiser, Marta Antelo
Little People, Big Dreams
Rosa Parks was an iconic civil rights activist. "She was very little, but very brave, and she always wanted to do what was right." She grew up in Alabamba and learned early on to stand up for herself. In 1955 she refused to give up a seat to a white man on a segregated bus, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
A great first introduction, inspirational and engaging.
4 years and up.
Fabrizio Silei / Maurizio A. C. Quarello
DER BUS VON ROSA PARKS
Ben is a little disappointed when his grandfather promises him to show him something amazing, takes him all the way to Detroit to a museum -and then all there is to see is a ordinary old bus! But then the grandfather tells him that one day in the 1950ies he sat in this bus, just when Rosa Parks refused to give her seat to a white man and this incident sparked the civil rights movement. The grandfather tells about his thoughts and feelings at the time now and then. And Ben learns: strength and big muscles aren't the most important, rather we have to learn to overcome our fears and stand up when we know we are in the right.
The book has great illustrations and is a great lesson in civil courage.
7 years and up
María Isabel Sánchez Vegara / Barbara Alca
Ella Fitzgerald was the first African American to win a Grammy. Her path to her musical career as one of the icons of Jazz and blues was due to a bit of luck: she was going to participate at the talent show at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, deciding last minute to sing instead of dance. It was her dream to become a singer though and her childhood was not easy: she lost her mother when she was fifteen and struggled in a very strict school.
An inspiring picture book that works for smaller children as well as older, beginning readers.
4 years and up
MARTIN LUTHER KING - WER IST DAS?
This book tells in his childhood until his death, his fight for justice and his death, in a direct age-appropriate language. Katrin Hahnemann does him justice, showing how important he was, but also showing some of his weaknesses. It raises questions about and racism, answering questions that will arise and encouraging children to give some answers themselves.
8 years and up