At Nannies Plus, one of our core values is diversity. We celebrate lifestyles, values, perspectives, and ideas that differ from our own and we encourage our community to join in that. Honoring diversity requires openness and education, and when we build on those things within the entire family team, we are raising our children and our nanny charges to create a more welcoming, accepting, and understanding environment for generations to come.

This week, we spotlight Black History Month. Black lives matter and should be celebrated every day, and this month provides an excellent opportunity to really focus on learning. In part I of our Black History Month blog, you will find a list of local Black-owned businesses, Black-led non-profit organizations, national non-profit organizations focusing on diversity in literacy and the classroom, and book awards honoring Black authors, Black illustrators, and Black stories. 

Later this week, for part II, we will be providing a list of suggested books amplifying Black voices. From infants to adults, and from nannies to parents to neighbors to friends, we have tried to include a resource or book for everyone to utilize in honoring Black History Month. 

Local, Black-Owned Bookstores:

Ashay by the Bay

Proprietor: Deborah Day, Vallejo

Online Only

(844) 543-7732

Marcus Books

Proprietor: The Johnson Family, Oakland

Online & In-Person

3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way

(510) 652-2344

Multicultural Bookstore & Gifts

Proprietor: Tamara Shiloh, Richmond

Online Only (Temporarily)

Coming Soon to 260 Broadway

(510) 322-4781

Literacy Resources & Awards Honoring Black Authors & Illustrators

The Brown Bookshelf – The 28 Days Later feature is an annual event featuring daily profiles of Black children’s & young adult authors and illustrators. – Lots of excellent resources including book lists and reviews, a directory of Black-owned bookstores and book websites, events, and an online shop.

Black Caucus of the American Library Association Book Awards – Awarded to books by Black authors, editors, and contributors who have displayed “outstanding achievement in the presentation of the cultural, historical, and sociopolitical aspects of Black Diaspora.” 

Carter G. Woodson Book Award – Awarded to books that “encourage the writing, publishing, and dissemination of outstanding social studies books for young readers that treat topics related to ethnic minorities and race relations sensitively and accurately.”

Children’s Africana Book Award – Awarded to the “authors and illustrators of the best children’s and young adult books on Africa published or republished in the U.S.”

Coretta Scott King Book Awards – Awarded to children’s and young adult books written and/or illustrated by Black authors and artists “that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.”

Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence – Awarded to “rising African-American fiction writers of excellence at the national level.”

Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Awards – Awarded to “the best in Black literature in the United States and around the globe.”

Phillis Wheatley Book Awards – Awarded to “books published in the last 5 years covering the topic of American slavery.”

Reading is Fundamental 

“Throughout its 55-year history, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) has been a champion of racial justice and equity through literacy. During this time of national unrest, we join with many others to lean in and accelerate our commitment through our Race, Equity, and Inclusion initiative to leverage the power of books for positive impact and change. “

Diversify Your Narrative

“Our Mission: To fight to be anti-racist and encourage a productive dialogue on race and identity among our student bodies through the inclusion of racially diverse, anti-racist texts in USA Schools; to work towards racial justice, educational equity, and community power.”

Facing History and Ourselves

“Facing History and Ourselves uses lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate.”

For a comprehensive list of local Bay Area Black-led organizations, explore the ASCEND:BLO directory

“The ASCEND:BLO initiative seeks to: enhance the growth, sustainability, impact, and sense of community among Black-led anchor institutions in the Bay Area in order to ensure the long-term vitality of those organizations and the communities of color they serve and apply a fresh, dynamic and replicable approach to collaborative capacity building that further develops the nonprofit sector with a lens towards race and equity.”

We would love to hear from our community of nannies and families about their ideas, plans, and accomplishments in honoring diversity and celebrating Black History Month. Tell us about it in the comments!