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Black History Month

  • Feb 22, 2011
  • Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard

There is a plethora of children’s literature that our young readers can experience that describes the history of African Americans. One of the newest books was written by our President, Barack Obama, Of Thee I Sing. Incorporating children’s literature that is representative of Black America is very important to all young children throughout the year, and especially during Black History Month.

We also encourage our libraries to utilize music during Library Story Time that represents the great African American musicians who have enriched and influenced our American culture and also world culture. Our blog will highlight Black musicians and suggest specific musicians and musical genres that should be included in Library Story Time throughout the year and also during Black History Month. Young children can be introduced to the composers and musicians that have defined such music genres as ragtime (Scott Joplin), jazz (Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis), the blues (Billie Holliday), rock and roll (Little Richard), soul (Ray Charles), pop and the blues (Stevie Wonder), through combining their music with specific children’s literature. The poetry of Langston Hughes could also be read, listening to jazz music played in the background.

Children’s CD’s:

  • Jazz for Kids: Sing, Clap, Wiggle and Shake
  • Ella Jenkins
  • Jackson 5: The Ultimate Collection
  • Putumayo Kids:
    *New Orleans Playground
    *Caribbean Playground
    *African Playground

Great Musicians:

  • Louis Armstrong
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Duke Ellington
  • Oscar Peterson
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Miles Davis
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Ray Charles
  • Scott Joplin
  • Johnny Coltrane
  • Billie Holliday
  • Charlie Parker
  • Nat King Cole
  • Harry Belafonte
  • Sammy Davis Jr. and more!

Children’s Literature About Jazz & Jazz Artists:

  • The Jazz Fly, Matthew Gollub & Karen Hanke (includes audio CD)
  • What a Wonderful World, based on song by Louis Armstrong, illustrated by Ashley Brown
  • Lookin’ for Bird in the Big City, Robert Burleigh & Marek Los
  • Who Bop? Jonathan London & Henry Cole

©MacPhail Center for Music, 2011

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