Black-owned bookstores provide pathways to imagining new worlds — or just our escaping our own — prioritizing Black stories and storytellers consistently in a country that once considered it illegal for Black people to have the right to read.
Literacy is one of the most important paths to power. Black-owned book shops not only promote independent authors and distribute publications that are not widely available, they often double as meeting spaces, art galleries, and affordable vendor marketplaces for the neighborhood in which they are located.
Like many retail-based businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic and rising commercial rents threaten their ability to continue providing vital services which makes supporting these stores even more crucial at this time. See 15 Black-owned bookstores you can visit in your city or shop online below.
Fulton Street Books
Onikah Asamoa-Caesar opened this book store in Tulsa, Oklahoma to aid in building representation, literacy, and community.
Café Con Libros
This Brooklyn bookstore and cafe is a haven for the intellectual intersectional Feminist.
After the last bookstore in her Bronx neighborhood closed Noëlle Santos sprung into action. The result? A modern bookstore and wine bar perfect for poetry readings and mimosa binges.
Uncle Bobbie’s Books and Coffee
Activist, commentator and scholar, Marc Lamont Hill brought this gem to the Germantown area.
Kareemah’s Urban Bookstore
This bookstore sits in the heart of South Philly.
Modern Tribe Books
Founder Maeva Jackson opened this store to provide access to titles that promote self-empowerment and holistic health.
The Little Boho Bookshop
Sandra Dear opened this sweet little bookshop to share her love of reading with her community in Bayonne, New Jersey.
Ramunda Young, Mahogany Young, and Derrick Young opened this family-owned bookstore in 2007 to make it easier for readers to locate work written by and focused on Black people across the diaspora. It is located in Washington, DC.
44th & 3rd
Warren, Cheryl, and Allyce Lee wanted to provide access to the “richness, diversity and genius of Black expression,” with their bookstore in Atlanta, Georgia. They settled on opening the store after Cheryl proposed their business plan as her thesis.
Proprietor E. Jean offers programming, tutoring, and special events at this shop in Duncanville, Texas.
The Listening Tree
After failing to find adequate representation for their children Omar and Kimberly created a bookstore filled with the selections they wanted to see.
Former teacher Janet Webster Jones is furthering the family legacy (her mom was a librarian) by running this Michigan shop.
This Chicago treasure pulls double duty as an art gallery.
Turning Page Bookshop
This shop, owned by VaLinda Miller, is the only Black-owned option in the state of South Carolina.