Peeeeace, props to all the folks hitting the streets these past few weeks and this weekend. If you're not familiar with the Movement for Black Lives check out their website and see the demands. This moment of righteous rage against police brutality which is a tactic of a much larger system/ state) is not about just marching, there are concrete demands. Take "Economic Justice" for one. The odds have been stacked against Black owned businesses for a long time and I'm excited to see people circulating a list of Black owned restaurants, musicians, artists, organizations, and bookstores people can donate to. And people have been doing it.
I donated to my local Oakland store "Marcus Books". I sell my book there, and I order new books through them. If you are not hitting the streets because of Covid or you want a different tactic here are five reasons to support black owned bookstores today.
1. They carry knowledge in the form of books and stories other stores do not.
2. They give new upcoming Black authors and scholars a path to a career in literary arts and storytelling.
3. They serve as archivists of Black history, achievements, movements, and accomplishments.
4. They serve as vital homes for more than books for musicians, organizers, students, self publishing authors, book clubs, and families.
5. They are anchors that help other Black owned businesses thrive too.
So I put AALBC-The African American Literary Book Club up first because they have been keeping a list of Black owned bookstores up for over a decade. And there are over 125 stores on the list. Connect with your local store and support them by buying books there or donating to them.
Second, I want to give some props to Noname from Chicago for starting a book club that recognizes and champions Black owned bookstores as well. Here is their partial list. Follow Noname's Book Club for more. Please do not purchase books from Amazon! Support an actual small Black owned business rather than a mega corporation.
I'd like to add that if you're in the Bay Area there is a 2nd Black owned bookstore that specializes in children's literature. Its in Richmond California and is called the "Multicultural Children's Bookstore".