By Chris Olsen
Publish Her is on a mission to amplify the voices of Black women writers and authors, and to support the Black-women-owned independent bookstores committed to elevating their stories. Here are 10 booksellers we’re supporting during Black History Month and beyond.
Photo: Black Garnet Books
Black Garnet Books
Founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota following the murder of George Floyd by the police, Black Garnet Books stocks a number of titles online and offers a curated selection of books at pop-up shops.
Founder: Dionne Sims
Brain Lair Books
Brain Lair Books aims to help customers find their place in the world through books. Its goal is for people—especially children and teens—to see themselves reflected in what they read. It’s located in South Bend, Indiana.
Founder: Kathy Burnette
Fulton Street Books and Coffee
Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Fulton Street Books and Coffee elevates stories about the life experiences of people of color and marginalized communities. Its mission is to offer a communal space and increase literacy.
Founder: Onikah Asamoa-Caesar
Good Books in Atlanta, Georgia combines the power and wonder of books and Black culture. Its mission is to support Blackness, its customers and the community. Good Books offers online shopping as well as a pop-up bookstore.
Founders: Katie and Katherine Mitchell
The Lit. Bar
The Lit. Bar is the only independent bookstore in the Bronx, New York. Its founder had the idea to open a bookstore/wine bar while protesting to save the Barnes and Noble in her borough and eventually realized her dream with a permanent location in Mott Haven.
Founder: Noëlle Santos
Located in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, Maryland, Loyalty Bookstores is a Black and queer bookseller working to diversify the book industry. It focuses on anti racist reading through its book clubs and booklists. Online ordering and pickup are available.
Founder: Hannah Oliver Depp
Niche Book Bar
When lifelong reader Cetonia Weston asked herself why it was so hard to find Black literature in a wide variety of genres, she created Niche Book Bar, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based bookstore showcasing new and used books from local, national and international authors.
Founder: Cetonia Weston
Semicolon is a bookstore and art gallery in Chicago , Illinois. Its focus is on community literacy and nurturing the connections between literature, art and the pursuit of knowledge. Shop a wide selection of books via its store online or visit the brick-and-mortar store.
Founder: Danielle Mullen
Shades of Afrika
In addition to books, Shades of Afrika offers natural hair care, oils and holistic products. Located in Long Beach and Corona, California, it aims to be a cultural center and is dedicated to the betterment of the community.
Founder: Renee Quarles
Based in New York City, Sister’s Uptown is a bookstore and culture center that serves as a community staple and positive source of information and ideas in its Washington Heights neighborhood. Visit the storefront or purchase books online.
Founders: Janifer and Kari Wilson
Do you own or support a Black-women-owned bookstore not mentioned here? Let us know and we’ll add it to the list!
About the author: Chris is a radio veteran turned communications consultant, educator and author. Through her work as a consultant partnering with startups, Chris realized her WHY—to support women-owned businesses in confidently communicating their purpose and impact, setting them up for entrepreneurial success. She created My Founder Story and Publish Her as platforms for doing so.