Celebrating Black History: Reading and Viewing Recommendations

Black History Month Reading and Viewing


From classic literature to contemporary cinema, the Library offers a number of ways to discover stories celebrating the African American experience. As we commemorate Black History Month, check out a selection of recommended books and browse the collection of films available through the Library's free streaming services. 



Black History Month 2021

Looking to deepen your knowledge of Black history? We've got the books that can help. The works of fiction and nonfiction listed here range in topic from slavery to Black Lives Matter, from Civil War to civil rights, and from social media to social justice.



Black History Month: Favorites from the staff at KSHB-TV 41

A collection of suggested titles and favorite reading from the staff at KSHB-TV 41 highlighting the importance of Black culture and history in the Kansas City area.



"How Long 'til Black Future Month?" - Black Queer Perspectives of Past, Present, and Future

In honor of both Black History Month and LGBTQIA+ History Month -- both of which take place in February -- we'd like to highlight the tremendous vibrancy and diversity of intersectional identity. The title of this booklist references Black science fiction author N.K. Jemisin's 2013 essay of the same name, in which she interrogates the absence of BIPOC representation in science fiction, fantasy, and other futurist genres.


Black Lives Matter in Kansas City

In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, the Kansas City Public Library has curated a list of resources for patrons. Find links to deeper background on the issues, books, documentaries, podcasts, and other items. This list continues to be updated with suggestions from Kansas City community members.


New(ish) African American Authors 

A collection of juvenile and young adult fiction from the past decade written by African American authors. 



Black History for Teens

Celebrate Black History Month with these great teen books! 




African American Films  and Documentaries

Watch documentaries, independent films, blockbusters, and cinematic stories about the African American experience, and check out movies made by black filmmakers. Watch online using the Library's digital services — all you need is your library card!

Browse the film collection in Kanopy |  About Kanopy >

Films on hoopla |  About hoopla >

Learn more about video streaming services available through the Library >
Screenshot of Kanopy Black History Month film selections