Building a sense of history: Hillsborough County library system offers resources on Black history

With February being Black History Month, the Hillsborough County Public Libraries is inviting others to use their resources to discover books and movies about Black history, as well as creative works by history-makers.

Officials gave some recommendations. Non-fiction titles they suggest starting this month include the works of Ibram X. Kendi: The Black Campus Movement, Stamped from the Beginning, How to be Antiracist, and 400 Souls: A Community History of African America. 1619-20. Kendi is an author, activist, and professor at Boston University. 

Recommendations also include Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a writer for The Atlantic and a novelist, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by activist and poet Maya Angelou. 

Suggested fiction titles include Homegoing by Yaa Giyasi, a story of two sisters in Africa when one is taken into slavery and the other remains free in their home country. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward, and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett are also some suggestions.

The library has a long list of books to interest school-aged children including: Little Leaders: Exceptional Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison, Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison, and The Great African Americans biography series. 

If your teen is a fan of Amanda Gorman, Hillsborough County has several copies of her book on order, The Hill We Climb, and ready to be reserved. 

The library system has an easy way to find more work from Black poets.

"If you go to the library website and do a website search and just search Amanda Gorman, we'll have a full book list with all of the book recommendations that are similar to her," explained Hillsborough County librarian Shedriek Battle. 

Below are links to a variety of those resources: