Heroes of Black History: Rosa Parks

Heroes of Black History: Rosa Parks #BlackHistoryMonth

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, was one of two black students to attend the University of Georgia fifty years ago. She recalls, “We were greeted by a screaming, howling mob of students, and I think some provocateurs…And as we walked under the arch, the students were yelling and screaming all kinds of epithets, and telling us to go home — in some cases saying, ‘Kill the you-know-what.’ ” From NPR

Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Today, she is an American journalist and former foreign correspondent for National Public Radio, and the Public Broadcasting Service. She also wrote the Introduction to Heroes of Black History: Biographies of Four Great Americans here: TFK_HeroesOfBlackHistory_Intro.

Today, I’m part of the Heroes of Black History blog tour, and I’m covering Rosa Parks, one of four Americans covered in this book.

The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.

Rosa Parks

Interesting facts I learned about Rosa Parks from Heroes of Black History:

  • Rosa learned to read from her mother when she was only four years old.
  • Rosa’s mother worked two jobs so that Rosa could attend a private school for black girls.
  • Rosa had to quit school in 11th grade when her grandmother and then her mother got sick.
  • Rosa’s husband, Raymond Parks, helped her return to school.
  • Parks was active in the NAACP and Rosa joined too, working as a volunteer to help black people register to vote.
  • Rosa had a previous battle on a bus in 1943 when the driver ordered her to get off the bus because she used the front door and re-enter through the back door. She would see this bus driver again 12 years later.
  • On December 1, 1955, Rosa makes history by refusing to give up her seat. The driver, James Blake, is the same one who forced her off the bus in 1943.

Heroes of Black History: Biographies of Four Great Americans by the editors of TIME for Kids

This accessible collection highlights the stories of four great Americans: Harriet Tubman, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, and Barack Obama. With photos and artwork throughout, the volume spans three centuries of African American History and is ideal for newly independent readers looking for report-worthy topics for both school work and personal interest reading. [nonfiction, for ages 8 and up]

Here are some great resources to go with this book:

Heroes of Black History

Heroes of Black History

More newly published books to celebrate Black History Month!

Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery by Sandra Neil Wallace, illustrated by Byran Collier

This story of an NFL star who became one of the most influential artists of his generation. Ernie Barnes was a reluctant football player growing up in the 1940s segregated South. He would go on to play professionally but never gave up on his dream of becoming an artist and finding Negro artists hanging in museums. Ernie became the official artist for the American Football League. Today, his paintings hang in museums in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York City, Washington DC, and Daphne, Georgia. Ernie Barnes has been called the creator of the Neo-Mannerism art movement, bringing movement to art. In 1984, he became the official artist of the Olympic Games. [picture book biography, ages 4 and up]

Be A King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream and You by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by James E. Ransome

Two of the most talented and prolific voices of color use their words and images to inspire a new generation to take Dr. King’s words to heart and utilize them by making mindful choices. In his words: “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve…You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.” Use this book year round but it’s especially perfect for MLK Day coming up January 15, 2018. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, illustrated by Laura Freeman

This is from a list from Book Riot of 25 Children’s Books for African American History Month: “They participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America’s first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

This is a beautiful book to learn about unsung and well known heroines of color to inspire a new generation of girls.

For example, Ruby Bridges made history as a young activist at age 6 when she became the first African American to integrate an all-white elementary school in the South, at William Frantz School in New Orleans, Louisiana. For the entire school year only one teacher taught Bridges in a classroom by herself.

Alice Ball was a chemist and medical researcher who developed the leading treatment for leprosy. She did not receive credit for her work until more than fifty years after her death! February 29 is Alice Ball day.  [advanced picture book, ages 8 and up]

More blog stops for Heroes of Black History:

January 22: Ms Yingling Reads

January 23: Biracial Bookworms

January 26: Always in the Middle

February 1: Christy’s Cozy Corners

February 2: Prose and Kahn

February 5: The Children’s Book Review

February 6: Crafty Moms Share

February 7: PragmaticMom

February 12: Mom Read It

February 13: Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s Book Reviews

February 14: Unleashing Readers

February 15: Randomly Reading

February 16: Unconventional Librarian

p.s. Additional book lists:

Black History Month with Carole Boston Weatherford

Five African American Who Excelled in the Arts

African American Pioneering Female Musicians

HARLEM: Found Ways art exhibit and Children’s Books Reflecting Harlem

Civil Rights Movement Books for 4th Grade

Top 10: Best Children’s Books On Civil Rights Movement

This list covers picture books, chapter books and young adult.

Ruby Bridges and Picture Book As Fast as Words Could Fly

Meeting Ruby Bridges was a thrill for me and further reinforced how important it is for kids to learn about the Civil Rights Movement.

Young Booker T. Washington: Fifty Cents and a Dream.

An advanced picture book that paints a portrait of Booker T. Washington as a determined young boy.

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr with Three Books 

If you just want a snapshot of the Civil Rights Movement for young children, try these three books: two picture books and a chapter book.

Black History Month Books for Kids and Teens

Gordon Parks: Black History Month

Civil Rights Movement Art

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my blog, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you. I use this money to pay for postage and handling for my giveaways.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. I’m really looking forward to reading Be A King & Between the Lines. Picking them up at the library this week. Thanks, Mia!

  2. So many great new books to read with the kids!
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