PBS Books Resources for Black History Month

Michigan Learning Channel brings you a curated selection for Black History Month of their interviews with African American authors.

Teacher Resource

PBS Books is a multi-platform initiative celebrating the love of reading. Through social and digital engagement and live coverage of important literary events across the country, PBS Books celebrates books and writers and works to foster a passion for reading among public media viewers and listeners.  Michigan Learning Channel brings you a curated selection of interviews with African American authors from their Library Bureau Chief, Heather-Marie Montilla.

Mae Jeimson

Find Where The Wind Goes , Grade 4-8

During the interview, Dr. Mae discussed her newly re-released memoir “Finding Where the Wind Goes.” You’ll hear about her various and diverse experiences—all which make her a trailblazer. This program is perfect complement to our Trailblazing Women Series offered during the 100 year celebration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, and our Celebration of African American Life and History during Black History Month.


Suzanne Slade

Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brook , Grade 1-6

50 minute discussion (via Zoom) with Suzanne Slade (Author) and Cozbi Cabrera (Illustrator) focusing on the their book about poet Gwendolyn Brook. Discussion is lead by Timothy Russel-Vice President/Director of Community Engagement at WTTW. The discussion goes into Slade and Cabrera’s process of reasearching, writing and illustrating the book. Includes a Q & A session with a couple of 4th grade students.


Vashti Harrison

Little Leaders: Bold Women In Black History , Grade 1-6

50 minute discussion (via Zoom) with author and artist Vashti Harrison about her book Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History and Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World . Includes the author reading from her book. Also discusses influences and the creation process for her books.


Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Dark Sky Rising , Grade 4-8

12 minute in person interview with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. about his books Stony the Road and Dark Sky Rising (Children’s Book) both about reconstruction and the Jim Crow era.


Nikki Grimes

Kamala Harris: Rooted In Justice , Grade 1-6

27 minutes. PBS Books hosted a virtual conversation with renowned children’s author Nikki Grimes discussing her latest book, Kamala Harris: Rooted In Justice, on December 11, 2020 as part of our series of conversations on Democracy. She shared what inspired her to write her newest book and her process. In addition, we had an opportunity to explore the story of trailblazer Kamala Harris, who has made a true mark on our democracy


Jason Reynolds

All American Boys &. Ghost , Grade 7-10

14 minutes: Host Rich Fahle talks with Jason Reynolds about his books, “Ghost” and “All American Boys” at the 2017 AWP Book Fair


Jacqueline Woodson

Harbor Me , Grade 6-9

18 Minutes: Jacqueline Woodson on “Harbor Me” at the 2018 Miami Book Fair interviewed by Ashley Ford.


Nic Stone

Odd One Out , Grade 9-12

18 Minutes: Nic Stone on “Odd One Out” at the 2018 Miami Book Fair interviewed by Ashley Ford.


Kwame Alexander

Swing , Grade 6-9

17 Minutes: Kwame Alexander on “Swing” at the 2018 Miami Book Fair interviewed by Rich Fahle.


Kevin Young

Brown , Grade 10-12

“16 Minutes: Kevin Young on Brown: Poems at the 2018 Miami Book Fair interviewed by Ashley Ford.
Divided into “”Home Recordings”” and “”Field Recordings,”” Brown speaks to the way personal experience is shaped by culture, while culture is forever affected by the personal, recalling a black Kansas boyhood to comment on our times”


Jericho Brown

The Trradition , Grade 10-12

19 Minutes: Audio at the very start is sort of cut off. Rich Fahle interviews poet Jericho Brown on his book “The Tradition” at the 2019 National Book Festival. Includes a reading.


Christopher Paul Curtis

Journey of Little Charlie , Grade 5-8

16 minutes: Rich Fahle interviews Christopher Paul Curtis about his book The Journey of Little Charlie at the 2018 National Book Festival


Veronica Chambers

Finish the Fight , Grade 5-9

not perfect picture sound sync. 45 Minutes: Fred Nahhat interviews author Veronica Chambers. Includes viewer Q&A.


Rita Dove

American Smooth , Grade 9-12

1 minute: Poem reading of American Smooth by Rita Dove from her book “Collected Poems” at AWP 2017.


Ibtihaj Muhammad

Proud: Living My Aerican Dream , Grade 9-12

17 Minutes: Rich Fahle interviews Ibtihaj Muhammad on “Proud” at the 2018 Miami Book Fair. She talks about the two versions of her book, the young adult version and the adult version.


Lesa Cline-Ransome

Germs , Grade K-4

7 minutes: Black Author Lesa Cline Ransome reads from her book “Germs”, illustrated by her husband, James Ransome.


Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Just Like Me , Grade K-3

5 minutes: Black author and illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton reads from her children’s book “Just Like Me.”


Javaka Steptoe

Radiant Child: Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat” by Javaka Steptoe | PBS Books Storytime , Grade K-4

8 minutes: Javaka Steptoe reads aloud his book, “Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.”


Tracey K Smith

Wade in the Water: Poems , Grade 9-12

16 minutes: Jeffrey Brown interviews poet Tracy K. Smith about her book “Wade in the Water: Poems” at the 2018 National Book Festival.