Black History in Comics

Every year we dedicate February to recognizing and celebrating the black individuals whose achievements shaped American history.  From slaves seeking freedom and civil activists to law enforcers and political leaders, these stories are readily available to be requested and checked out at your local branches.

Titles with an asterisk (*) signify an eComic available on Hoopla.  Hoopla's collection is subject to change every month.  Titles available at the time of this article's publication may not be available in the future.  Please contact your local library branch for more information.

From our juvenile collection, we have--
Best Shot in the West
Learn about the most famous African-American cowboy in the West, Nat Love!

Underground Abductor
Part of Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales, this book gives a comprehensive history of Harriet Tubman from her childhood as a slave to her heroic deeds as an escort of the Underground Railroad.

A runaway slave is discovered by a farm girl as he takes refuge while on the Underground Railroad.  This is a wordless picture book that fits in well with our other titles in this list.  Its illustrations show the suspense and fear that can come from avoiding lawmen who were legally sanctioned to capture runaways.

From our young adult collection, we have--
Bass Reeves*
Noted as one of the most successful lawmen in the West, Bass Reeves' journey to become a U.S. Marshal is detailed here.  This book is the first of the Talented Tenth, a series dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of lesser-known black individuals.

First Man*
Read about one of the first men to discover the North Pole. Combining his personal writings with Inuit mythology, Matthew Henson's life is explored in this story of polar expeditions and the undercurrent of prejudice that existed in his time.

Hip Hop Family Tree*
Learn about the beginnings of hip-hop, the music genre that began in the Bronx with innovators like Herc and Grandmaster Flash, and how its development came to define a generation of performers and culture.

From our adult nonfiction, we have--

Black History in Its Own Words*
A collection of illustrated portraits and quotes from various black icons, accompanied with short informational pieces. Previously published as an annual magazine.

The life of notable writer and activist Zora Neale Hurston is represented in this graphic novel.  A collection of her books are also available for check-out in our library system.

Based on true acts of journalism, this high-tense mystery focuses on a reporter who was able to pass as white while investigating lynches in the South.

The first in a trilogy of books covering the life and accomplishments of Congressman John Lewis, whose involvement in the Civil Rights Movement led to him receiving the Medal of Freedom.  March has received the Coretta Scott King Honor and was nominated for three Eisner Awards.

Be sure to also check out our other articles and our booklists covering Black History month!