Civil Rights: Helping Children Understand

The Dockum Drug Store sit-in in Wichita was one of the first organized lunch counter sit-ins to protest segregation. It has an important place in the history of civil rights in the United States. Visit the People, Pride, and Promise: The Story of the Dockum Sit-In exhibit at our Main Library and then use these books to help little ones understand the brave people who fought for equal rights. 

Someday is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
This book tells the story of Clara Luper who led one of the first lunch-counter sit-ins. She and her students worked to desegregate restaurants and stores.

Freedom on the Menu: the Greensboro Sit-Ins by Carole Boston Weatherford
This is a first-person account of the Greensboro sit-ins, which took place in 1960. Told through a child’s eyes, readers get to see when four teenagers sat down at whites-only lunch counter and the effect.

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney
This picture book also gives an account of the Greensboro sit-in at Woolworth’s lunch counter. This shows how the peaceful protest became a large part of the Civil Rights Movement.

Lunch Counter Sit-Ins: How Photographs Helped Foster Peaceful Civil Rights Protests by Danielle Smith-Llera
This book shows the importance of the photographs taken at the Woolworth’s counter to help proliferate the message of the Civil Rights Movement. Included in the book is an interview with the photographer.

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks by Cynthia Levinson
Meet the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963, in this moving picture book that proves you’re never too little to make a difference.

Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge
An inspiring examination of the landmark march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this book focuses on the children who faced terrifying violence in order to walk alongside him in their fight for freedom and the right to vote.

Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson by Leda Schubert
This beautiful picture book tells the little-known story of Raven Wilkinson, the first African American woman to dance for a major classical ballet company and an inspiration to Misty Copeland.

Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome
An evocative poem and stunning watercolors come together to honor a woman of humble origins whose courage and compassion make her a larger than life hero.