Happy Juneteenth! Tomorrow we celebrate the freedom of all enslaved people. While we have come far as a nation since then, race still divides our nation. But today calls for a moment to reflect on our history, how far we’ve come, and how we can continue to go.
Part of what we do here at Lauren Simone is encourage the voices of diverse writers from all different kinds of backgrounds—moms, dads, brothers, sisters, children—anyone can be a writer, but more importantly everyone has a story to tell.
Unfortunately, not everyone receives the recognition or chance for their stories to be heard. In fact, only about 8 percent of children's books are written by black authors.
One thing about freedom is equity and representation of black authors. To celebrate Juneteenth we are sharing some black children's books authors for you to check out so you can be part of a more inclusive future!
1. What is Juneteenth? by Kirsti Jewel
2. A is for Ambition: A Motivational Read for the Future Go Getter by Antonio Hunter
3. Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy
4. The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes
5. Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
6. Hey You! by Dapo Adeola
7. The Year We Learned To Fly by Jacqueline Woodson
8. What is Given From the Heart by Patricia C. McKissack
9. Daddy Speaks Love by Leah Henderson
10. Change Sings by Amanda Gorman and Loren Long
11. Sing a Song by Kelly Starling Lyons
12. All Because You Matter by Tami Charles
13. When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten
14. Your Name Is A Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
15. My Life As An Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi
16. Firebird by Misty Copeland
17. Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes
18. Alicia Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams
19. Last Stop On Market Street by Matt de la Peña
These are just a few of the many amazing stories out there celebrating black history, culture, and voices. Be sure to check out Lauren Simone’s own black history collection for more empowering stories!