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Black History Month: 11 Children's Books That Celebrate It...In February And Beyond


First Posted: 02/23/2012 3:55 pm Updated: 02/23/2012 4:06 pm

While 2012's leap year status makes for a longer than usual Black History month, 29 days still isn't enough time to explore the wide range of black stories that exist. Children’s literacy organization, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), seems set on giving it a try, however, releasing its annual multicultural book collection this month, a showcase of authors and characters from a diverse cross section of black life.

According to RIF, 67 percent of White children and 60 percent of Asian students were read to every day by a family member, while only 37 percent of Hispanic children and 35 percent of Black children were read to every day.

From a vibrant young jockey to a charitable young poet, RIF's books aim to expand cultural knowledge, while lessening the literacy gap. The list also includes accompanying activities for young readers, such as building a collage or drawing a map of locations featured in the book.

The list, selected by RIF’s Literature Advisory Board, includes these 11 African-American tales.

The Last Black King Of The Kentucky Derby: The Story Of Jimmy Winkfield by Crystal Hubbard
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Born into an African American sharecropping family in 1880s Kentucky, Jimmy Winkfield grew up loving horses. The large, powerful animals inspired little Jimmy to think big. Looking beyond his family's farm, he longed for a life riding on action-packed racetracks around the world. Like his hero, the great Isaac Murphy, Jimmy 'Wink' Winkfield would stop at nothing to make it as a jockey. Though his path to success was wrought with obstacles both on the track and off, Wink faced each challenge with passion and a steadfast spirit. Along the way he carved out a lasting legacy as one of history's finest horsemen and the last African American ever to win the Kentucky Derby. The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby brings to life a vivacious hero from a little-known chapter of American sports history. Readers are transported trackside to witness the heart-pounding story of a vibrant young man chasing down his dream.

Ages 6 and up

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Filed by Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson  |  Report Corrections