Post COVID-19 and the amplification on #BlackLivesMatter, I had read that independently-owned bookstores were flourishing after nearly being ignored into extinction.
I think that speaks to the heart, dedication, uniqueness, and passion of the owners who have fought to keep these much-needed parts of communities afloat. Despite all of the setbacks that 2020 has offered, these proud businesses continue to be fueled by new (and much needed) awareness.
Black-Owned Bookstores Sees Sales Soar Amid Protests
During my late 2019 mini-book tour to promote my newest book, In The Nick of Time, I had the honor of stopping at a very special bookstore in Harlem.
Sister’s Uptown Bookstore & Cultural Center has been a staple in the Harlem community for almost two decades.
Janifer Wilson, the owner and visionary for this amazing store in Manhattan, opened her doors to me for a book signing on November 23rd. She didn’t know me, but she KNEW me. This woman has done so much for literacy and a love of reading and she took me in from Day One.
I watched her as she worked in her store and shared her genuine love of books and knowledge with others, and I saw how she cared for me just because.
I love this woman. It was an exceptionally special and meaningful day for me. You can read all about the day, as well as my business, on my latest blog post HERE.
This is 100% why I do what I do.
In another one of my recent posts, I said, “Being willing to educate yourself- and then talk about it- will be one of the most powerful things any one person can do.”
Please continue to carry that mantra with you and then spread it as a practice to others in your life.
It’s important to support independent bookstores. They keep us different and informed and balanced. They hold cool groups and meetings. They tend to carry books that other stores don’t have.
Black-owned bookstores are no different and they need your support. They need you to not stop posting about them or otherwise supporting them when others tend to forget they are there. Black-owned bookstores are not just for black people just like books with black characters are not just for black people.
That is as silly as saying that the Olive Garden is only a place where Italian people can eat… or Taco Bell or… ah, you get my point. Just remember that. Remember that our lives are boring and uninteresting when we don’t eat pasta, and they’re even worse when we don’t regularly visit Black-owned bookstores.
Black-owned bookstores have the same mission as any other bookseller on the planet: if you want to see more diverse books on shelves in small business locations, you have to support the ones that exist now.
So close your web browser and make the trip to a local brick-n-mortar bookstore in your community. If you are lucky enough to live near a Black-owned bookstore please stop in there first.
I can promise that the visit will be an experience that you will never be able to match when buying online.
Go HERE to see a list of 22 Black-Owned Bookstores to Shop Right Now (and Always).
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