Books to Teach Children About Race, History, and Equality - YWCA El Paso Del Norte Region
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Books to Teach Children About Race, History, and Equality

Categories: News

YWCA El Paso del Norte Region is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The books below are just a few of the ones we use at our Early Learning Academies to teach our students about the history of discrimination and racism, to love each other for our differences, and that no person is better or worse than another for the color of the skin.

An older black woman in a purple dress and pale pink scarf stands at the foreground in front of a large American flagLillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

By Jonah Winter & Shane W. Evans

As Lillian heads to her polling place, she recalls the history of voting rights. This will serve as a great, age-appropriate introduction to the Civil Rights movement and history’s inequality.



five illustrated women stand in a line under the words Little DreamersLittle Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World

By Vashti Harrison

This book tells the true stories of 35 women from throughout history and around the world. This will serve as an excellent introduction to some of history’s most empowering and important women!



An illustration of a young black girl with very dark skin. The background is like the sky, purple and blue and full of stars. Because of this, her face appears to glow. She is wearing a green top and is reaching towards the reader with her hand. Her face is a look of awe and wonder. Text reads: SulweSulwe

By Lupita Nyong’o

Sulwe has never felt beautiful because her skin is darker than everyone else’s and she has been teased for it. Readers will take a magical journey with Sulwe as she discovers her beauty, inside and out, and learn that all colors of skin are beautiful.



A young black woman in a yellow dress and red sweater stands on a stool in front of the moon which has illustrations of mathematical formulas on itCounting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13

By Helaine Becker

Until fairly recently, Katherine Johnson’s contributions to NASA and the historic moon landing have been mostly unknown. Her story will introduce young readers to the discrimination faced by black Americans. They will be inspired by a black woman in a white, male-dominated field whose intelligence changed the world.



A young black girl with red cheeks and curly hair is wearing a space helmet and looking out towards a blue and purple sky full of stars. Text reads: Mae Among the StarsMae Among the Stars

By Roda Ahmed

Mae Jemison was the first black woman in space. As a child, people tried to dissuade her from pursuing her dream of becoming a scientist, but she persevered and accomplished exactly what she had always wanted!




An illustration of a black woman with short brown hair. Her eyes are closed, her hands are gently folded together in front of her face, and her lips are partially open as if she is singing. Text reads: When Marian SangWhen Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson

By Pam Muñoz Ryan

Marian Anderson was an incredibly talented black singer who found success in Europe but faced discrimination in America. She famously performed to an integrated audience at the Lincoln Memorial and became known as one of the best singers ever. Of every color.



on a background of different hues of blue, a black ballerina in a red unitard leaps in the air with her back arched and arms graceful. Beneath her is the title of the book: FirebirdFirebird

By Misty Copeland

World-renowned ballerina Misty Copeland introduces a young girl who doubts her abilities and lacks faith in herself. With a little encouragement (which all children need!), she finds out just how far she can go. Misty Copeland was the first black female Principal Dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. She faced discrimination because of her skin color and body type and the story of her experiences will help readers understand that such discrimination still exists today.


Shows five illustrated black women. Text reads: Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black HistoryLittle Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

By Vashti Harrison

This book will educate and inspire readers as they learn about 40 different black women throughout history. Their stories will explore racism, discrimination, triumph, and more.




a young Korean girl with short black hair, wearing a green sweater has a jar with pieces of paper folded inside it. She is reaching in to pick a piece of paper. Above her is the book title: The Name JarThe Name Jar

By Yangsook Choi

In this story, a young Korean immigrant decides to choose a new, “American,” name. With the help of her new friends, she finds the beauty in her name’s history, meaning, and uniqueness. Readers will learn to accept and love themselves, other humans, and other cultures.




a young black girl with curly hair wearing a colorful shirt and holding a purple book opens a door. Next to her, in colorful lettering, is the book title: The day you beginThe Day You Begin

By Jacqueline Woodson

The Day You Begin teaches children that sometimes they may feel different from others around them. However, they are strong enough and brave enough to move forward, share their stories, and learn from others.



five people of different ages, races, sizes, and with interesting characteristics stand in front of a blue sky with two white clouds. Above them is the book title: LovelyLovely

By Jess Hong

This simple book displays various characteristics and traits and describes them all as lovely. Two men in love? Lovely. An older woman with tattoos? Lovely. An individual with a prosthetic leg? Lovely. This book is short, simple, and illustrates that while everyone is different, everyone is lovely.



In the foreground of the book, a young girl with brown skin is wearing a brilliant blue hijab. The hijab becomes a sea of water with another young girl riding through the waves in a white boatThe Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family

By Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali

This story reminds children that words can be hurtful, so kindness is always the best choice. This book serves as a perfect platform to teach YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.



On the top half of this illustration is a blonde boy with skyscrapers in the background. In the bottom half and upside down is a boy with black hair and brown skin with Asian-inspired architecture behind him. Between them is the book title: Same, Same But DifferentSame, Same But Different

By Jenny Kostecki-Shaw

What can two children from opposite sides of the world have in common? Turns out, a lot! Readers will learn that they have a lot in common with other children from around the world, even if their surroundings and backgrounds are different.



four black women stand at the foreground of this illustration. One is wearing a green blazer, one a blue jacket, one a pale orange dress, and the last an orange top and red blazer. Behind them is the moon and the book's title: Hidden FiguresHidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

By Margot Lee Shetterly

The story of the black women who made NASA’s work possible was largely untold until recently. This book will introduce children to the extraordinary work of these women despite the discrimination and bigotry they experienced at the time.




A young girl with curly red hair, wearing a red and white striped dress and blue cardigan stands between two men holding their hands. The man on the left is wearing a yellow sweater and has brown hair and the man on the right has blonde hair and is wearing a checkered shirt. Between the men sis the book's title: Stella Brings the FamilyStella Brings the Family

By Miriam B. Schiffer

In this story, Stella uses her loving family and friends to teach others about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family. Readers will learn that there are all different types of family and each one is wonderful!



You can help YWCA El Paso complete our book collection by purchasing one from our Amazon wish list!

These books are shipped directly to us and will be used in our Early Learning Academies and School Age programs.

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