Black History Month 2021

Following a historic year that included a global pandemic, the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, and the election of the first Black/Asian/woman Vice President of the United States, it's time for our annual commemoration of Black History Month (see HBBlackHistoryMonth16, HBBlackHistoryMonth17, HBBlackHistoryMonth18, HBBlackHistoryMonth19, and HBBlackHistoryMonth20). We'll be featuring articles, speeches, and reviews from The Horn Book archive that are by and/or about African American authors, illustrators, and luminaries in the field — one a weekday through the month of February. Check back here to follow along each day/week and look for the social media tag #HBBlackHistoryMonth on and @HornBook. Also follow The Brown Bookshelf's "28 Days Later" initiative ("designed to celebrate Black children’s book creators and raise awareness of those who may be under the radar of librarians, educators and families"), and on Twitter @brownbookshelf.


Week 1

2/1: 2021 CSK Author winner Jacqueline Woodson and honorees Kacen Callender (who was also the 2020 BGHB Fiction and Poetry winner!), Evette Dionne, and Mildred D. Taylor (who was also the 2021 Children's Literature Legacy Award winner!)

2/2: Fiction Review of the Week: Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston; 2021 Newbery honoree Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrator Michele Wood, and their book Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom

2/3: Nonfiction Starred Review of the Week: Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford illus. by Floyd Cooper; articles by BGHB and Margaret A. Edwards Award winner Kekla Magoon, including "Our Modern Minstrelsy" and "The Un-Hero's Journey"; 5Qs for Gwendolyn Hooks & Simone Agoussoye about Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons

2/4: 5Qs for Angela Joy about Black Is a Rainbow Color; Nina Crews: "Rule Breakers: Trusting My Instincts" + review of A Girl like Me; Happy Birthday Rosa Parks; and Book Bundles: Music Against the Odds

2/5: "Young Dreamers" and more by and about Christopher Myers, on Trayvon Martin's birthday


Week 2

2/8: Starred Picture Book Review of the Week: Me & Mama by Cozbi A. Cabrera; "A Family Affair: Connecting Community to Books" by Monique Harris and Nicholl Montgomery; 2021 Caldecott honorees Cozbi A. Cabrera and Zetta Elliott; 5Qs for Christian Robinson about You Matter

2/9: 2021 CSK Illustrator winner Frank Morrison and honorees; 5Qs for Kim Johnson about This Is My America

2/10: Nonfiction Review of the Week: This Is Your Time by Ruby Bridges; From Notes from the Horn Book: 5Qs for Frank Morrison, Black History, American History, Middle grade sci-fi/fantasy for Black History Month; S. R. Toliver's article "Imaginative Spaces and Connecting Lines: SFF and CSK"

2/11: Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey Talk with Roger

2/12: 2020 BGHB Fiction and Poetry honoree Elizabeth Acevedo, including her Clap When You Land acceptance speech and 5Qs interview; YA love stories for Black History Month; Jacqueline Woodson's birthday


Week 3

2/15: Starred Picture Book Review of the Week: Time for Kenny by Brian Pinkney; 2020 BGHB Nonfiction honoree Nikki Grimes, including her Ordinary Hazards acceptance speech and recent article "Navigating the N-Word"; 5Qs for Lynnette Mawhinney about Lulu the One and Only

2/16: Starred Fiction Review of the Week: Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel by Jason Reynolds, adapted and illus. by Danica Novgorodoff; 2020 BGHB Nonfiction winner Ashley Bryan, including his Infinite Hope acceptance speech and a recent article "Teaching Infinite Hope"; 5Qs for Elizabeth Zunon about Off to See the Sea

2/17: Nonfiction Review of the Week: Finding a Way Home: Mildred and Richard Loving and the Fight for Marriage Equality by Larry Dane Brimner; 2020 BGHB Picture Book winner Oge Mora, including her Saturday acceptance speech and 5Qs about The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read; 5Qs for James Patterson and Kwame Alexander about Becoming Muhammad Ali

2/18: 5Qs for Alice Faye Duncan about Just like a Mama; Book Bundles: Separate and Unequal

2/19: 5Qs for Janae Marks about From the Desk of Zoe Washington; 5Qs for Stephanie Cooke, Insha Fitzpatrick, and Juliana Moon about Oh My Gods!


Week 4

2/22: Picture Book Review of the Week: Northbound: A Train Ride Out of Segregation by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein, illus. by James E. Ransome; Happy Anniversary: The People Could Fly by Nicholl Denice Montgomery; 5Qs for B. B. Alston about Amari and the Night Brothers

2/23: Jerry Craft's 2020 Newbery Medal acceptance speech, 2020 CSK Author Book Award acceptance speech, and profile by Andrew Eliopulos

2/24: Starred Nonfiction Review of the Week: The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall's Life, Leadership, and Legacy by Kekla Magoon; illus. by Laura Freeman; Kadir Nelson's 2020 Caldecott Medal acceptance speech, 2020 CSK Illustrator Book Award acceptance speech, and profile by Kwame Alexander

2/25: Poetry Review of the Week: Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes; illus. by various artists; Jordan Ifueko Talks with Roger

2/26: 5Qs for Nic Stone about Dear Justyce; Brown Bookshelf's Call to Action


Click the tag HBBlackHistoryMonth21 for more articles in this series.

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