There are many wonderful ways to celebrate Black History Month, and listening to audiobooks featuring the stories of African American leaders, entrepreneurs, thinkers, and artists can be especially impactful for young listeners. Whether read by award-winning narrators or by the authors themselves, these outstanding audiobook memoirs and biographies about Black change-makers living lives of courage, talent, and creativity, bring the context of history to life and empower young listeners to become forces for change in the present moment.
There are many key figures of the civil rights movement whose names don’t often appear in history books, those who fought hard for equality behind the scenes. Developed with the full support of the Dovey Johnson Roundtree Educational Trust and adapted from her memoir, this Young Readers audiobook edition of Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights brings Dovey Johnson Roundtree’s inspiring story and voice to life.
Written and read as a letter from civil rights activist and icon Ruby Bridges to the listener, This Is Your Time is both a recounting of Ruby’s experience as a child who had no choice but to be escorted to class by federal marshals when she was chosen as one of the first black students to integrate New Orleans’ all-white public school system, and an appeal to generations to come to effect change.
From the world of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls comes this historical novel based on the life of Madam C.J. Walker: America’s first self-made millionaire. In Madam C.J. Walker Builds a Business, Sarah Breedlove (a.k.a Madam C.J. Walker) reinvents and rebrands herself as a forceful entrepreneur whose products still dominate the Black hair care industry today.
Learn more about our history-making Vice President by listening to Who Is Kamala Harris?. This exciting audiobook details the defining moments that led to Vice President Harris’s nomination and the events that have shaped her career thus far.
In What Is the Civil Rights Movement? author Sherri L. Smith brings to life momentous events through the words and stories of people who were on the frontlines of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Read by Earphones Award-winning narrator David Sadzin.
An all-star cast of children’s writers and audiobook narrators lend their voices to We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, a powerful collection that asks, “In this divisive world, what shall we tell our children?” Featuring poems, letters, personal essays, songs, and other works from leaders in children’s literature such as Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Jason Reynolds (All American Boys), Kwame Alexander (The Crossover), and more.
Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted comes a chapter book series on audio about women who stood up, spoke up, and rose up against the odds. Born an enslaved person, Harriet Tubman rose up to become one of the most successful and well-known conductors of the Underground Railroad. In She Persisted: Harriet Tubman, listeners learn about the amazing life of Harriet Tubman—and how she persisted. Includes an introduction from Chelsea Clinton.
As the youngest marcher in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Albama, Lynda Blackmon Lowery proved that young adults can be heroes. In Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom, her audio memoir, she shows today’s young listeners what it means to fight nonviolently and how it felt to be part of changing American history.
Ballet dancer and author Misty Copeland made history when she became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater’s 75-year history. In Firebird, she narrates the story of a young girl—an every girl—whose confidence is fragile. Misty encourages this young girl’s faith in herself and shows her exactly how she too can become Firebird.
Looking for a broad range of audiobook recommendations that center on Black authors, narrators, and narratives? Visit the Penguin Random House Audio Amplify Black Voices page.