Veronica N. Chapman, Founder and Chief Designer, Boxxout Enterprises, spoke with child and adult psychiatrist, Dr. Nicole Christian-Brathwaite about how growing up in an anti-Black society impacts Black children. We asked Dr. Christian-Brathwaite how we can help our children cope, resist, and thrive. Dr. Nicole Christian-Brathwaite is the founder of Well Minds Consulting, where her interests and expertise revolve around delivery of mental health care to seriously ill children, adolescents, adults and families both locally and globally.
BlackBabyBooks.com is a brand of Boxxout Enterprises, a company that designs creative solutions for social change.
Hair Love, an animated short film from Matthew A. Cherry, tells the heartfelt story of an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. We won’t offer any spoiler commentary here. Just watch!
Many readers are aware of the lack of children’s books with Black representation. For instance, in 2018, only 10 percent of books published by traditional publishers featured Black protagonists. And in many cases, the books that were published were not written by Black authors, calling their cultural competence into question. Consequently, some writers have taken it upon themselves to be the change they wish to see, or read, by self-publishing books. Help us celebrate their activism and achievements by supporting their work this holiday season!
Artika Tyner, Author
What motivated you to write & self-publish your books? I was inspired to write my first children’s book by Justice Alan C. Page [retired Minnesota Supreme Court]. He has written three children’s books which inspire young people to learn, grow and thrive. He also founded the Page Education Foundation with the goal in mind of “creating heroes through education and service.” As a proud Page Scholar, I am also committed to promoting education, literacy, cultural awareness and leadership development.
What motivated you to write & self-publish your books? I’m a fan of self-publishing because I have full artistic control. I wanted to self-publish The Almost Adventures of Plane Jane because I wanted to bring my vision of this empowering story of a young Black girl to life in my own way.
What motivated you to write & self-publish your book? To influence young minority students on the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), my book, “Like Me,” explores the different careers within the field. My hope is to provide early exposure, and to attract young minds to the STEM community. I also hope that this short story will allow young minds to understand what STEM professionals do in the simplest of terms, and spark an interest for further exploration in STEM.
What motivated you to write & self-publish your books? As an HBCU graduate (Spelman College), one of my goals is to make sure my readers feel the same type of empowerment and affirmation that students feel on HBCU campuses. I want my readers to be empowered to become the greatest version of themselves.
What motivated you to write & self-publish your book? I was motivated due to the lack of content and information that is present to African children to prepare them for true progression in this world. My decision was based solely on my desire to change that.
What motivated you to write & self-publish your book? In raising my little one, it is important to me that I consistently expose her to positive images that reflect who she is. Witnessing the lack of diversity in children’s literature not only upset me, but also motivated me to take action. My debut children’s book, “Little Miss is Destined for Greatness” is my way of becoming a part of the solution.
What motivated you to write & self-publish your books? I’m a former journalist and always wanted to write my own book. When reading with my children I noticed there were few kid’s books with Black main characters. I decided to fill in the gap by creating my own series. I also wanted to highlight the unique features of Houston, the city I live in (alligators and other wildlife in the neighborhoods, rodeo culture, cultural diversity).
STEAM education is a practice that incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts & Mathematics. Education Closet explains, “STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century!“
Anyone can see how incorporating each of those disciplines could be beneficial to our children’s education, so we’ve chosen just a few books on our website that can provide your babies with an early introduction to STEAM.
Counting On Katherine (Grade Level: Kindergarten – 4) is the bold story of Katherine Johnson, an African-American mathematician who worked for NASA during the space race. How Do Plants Grow (Grade Level: Kindergarten – 5) explains the process of photosynthesis, and why it is important to life on Earth. King Khalid is Proud (Grade Level: 2 – 5) is about a little boy who learns to code his own video game to negotiate a later bedtime. Little Melba and Her Big Trombone (Grade Level: 2 – 3) is the story of Melba Doretta Liston, a trailblazing musician and a great unsung hero of jazz. Not All Superheroes Wear Capes (Grade Level: Kindergarten – 5) is a children’s book designed to teach Black students about the opportunities available to them in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. And The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague (Grade Level: 2 – 5) is about a hidden mastermind who made waves in the U.S. Navy as an engineer!
The Black Baby Books platform was founded by self-published author Veronica N. Chapman. Veronica came up with the idea for the platform while she was promoting her first children’s book “I Know I Can!“. At events people would always ask her where they could find other children’s books with Black characters. Although Veronica would often meet authors at events, she found that when she wanted to recommend their books to her readers, they were not always easy to find online. To make it easier to direct people to other authors of children’s books with Black characters Veronica launched BlackBabyBooks.com.
The Black Baby Books service is supported by advertising revenue and affiliate sales of books listed on our website. Because authors in particular help keep this service going, we want to be sure that we are doing all we can to support you. Please find three resources below that we hope you will find helpful. Thank you so much for supporting our platform!
In addition to making it easier for you to discover children’s books with Black representation, we also want to make sure our platform shares excellent literacy practices for your household. We share many of them on our Instagram page, and we love the feedback and insights we gain from our community!
Here is just one example of a #literacyfact that we shared:
We created a story map template especially for your little readers! Story maps are used to help children process what they’ve learned while reading a book, either assisted or alone. For little children it can be a fun exercise to demonstrate what they’ve learned by drawing the book characters and by identifying and then highlighting different sections of the book; typically the beginning, middle, and end of a story.
Here are the key benefits of story mapping:
They improve reading comprehension.
They help children identify key elements of a story.
They teach children how to organize information and ideas efficiently.
You can download the template HERE. Please let us know if you find our story map helpful, and please tag us on Instagram if you use this for the little readers in your life! Need a new book to try this literacy tool? Browse our library.
BlackBabyBooks.com makes it easier to discover children’s books with Black characters and related resources. This is not a curated list, and we do not endorse any of the books listed, we focus on making them discoverable.
Please note that all purchases on this website are processed via Amazon, and that as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made via our website. – If you prefer to support Independent Book Sellers, while still supporting our service, check out our Bookshop Online Store.
Thank you so much for being part of our community, and happy reading!