British Black History Books for Children and Teens
British Black History is the rich story of Black people who have made significant contributions to the United Kingdom over generations. It is a story of victories and tragedies that plays an important role in building the ethnic tapestry of modern Britain. Through learning about these figures and events, British primary and secondary schoolchildren will not only learn about important components of their country’s history, but also appreciate ideals of tolerance, acceptance, and empathy.
Incorporating British Black History into the curriculum is important for several reasons. It broadens the horizons of students, helping them appreciate the multicultural society they live in. This exposure not only aids in understanding the roots of the diverse communities they interact with daily but also dispels stereotypes and biases, fostering a more inclusive environment. British Black History also provides all students with role models and stories of resilience, igniting their aspirations and self-belief.
By studying the achievements and struggles of Black figures in Britain, children learn that they too can overcome adversity and achieve greatness. Additionally, it empowers Black students by instilling a sense of pride in their heritage and a feeling of belonging within the British context. Crucially, it equips all students with a comprehensive understanding of their nation’s history, ensuring they are well-prepared to engage in informed and empathetic discussions on issues related to race, diversity, and social justice – essential skills for responsible and compassionate citizens in modern 21st century Britain.
This list features books by Floella Benjamin, David Olusoga, Atinuke, Benjamin Zephaniah, Alison Hammond, Jeffrey Boakye, Catherine Johnson, Michaela Morgan, David Lammy and Troy Deeney.
British Black History Books for children and teens – our recommendations
British Black history books for KS1 and KS2
British Black History books for KS3
British Black history books for KS4 and KS5
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British Black history resources for teachers
- Troy Deeney’s Channel 4 documentary explains why it’s important for schools to include British Black history in the curriculum.
- BBC Teach has a range of videos and resources for teachers of 5-16-year-olds to help schools explore black history and heritage.
- The Young Historians Project is a non-profit organisation ‘formed by young people encouraging the development of young historians of African and Caribbean heritage in Britain.’
- The Institute of Commonwealth Studies has a useful website which includes free resources, links and workshops.
- There’s a vast selection of high-quality resources and lesson plans for KS1, KS2, KS3 and KS4 to accompany the 100 Great Black Britons book.
- The National Archives has a mini-site devoted to Black British History which contains primary sources, videos, podcasts and study resources that are ideal for secondary-aged students.
- Collins Education has produced a free guide for KS3 teachers offering advice on how to ‘shine a light on the importance of Black British History’.
- UCL has compiled lots of suggestions for Black History Month in British schools, including recommendations by Professor Margo Finn and Dr Tim Gibbs.
- The DfE has created a blog page to explain how Black History is taught as part of the National Curriculum.