Black Women-Owned Independent Bookstores to Support This Month and All Year Long

By Chris Olsen

There are just over 2,000 independent booksellers in the U.S., operating around 2,500 shops—the majority of these business owners are white. Publish Her is committed to elevating Black women and LGBTQ+ business owners and authors. Join us in supporting these booksellers this month and all year long:

BLACK GARNET BOOKS: A St. Paul, Minnesota-based Black and queer woman-owned bookstore specializing in Adult and YA contemporary literature by Black and racially diverse authors; founded by Dionne Sims.

THE BOOK BAR: A Black woman-owned bookstore centered around BIPOC authors and brands in an effort to uplift and support often-silenced cultures; founded by Krystle Dandridge.

BRAIN LAIR BOOKS: A Black woman-owned South Bend, Indiana-based bookstore striving to help its customers see themselves through books; founded by Kathy Burnette.

FULTON STREET BOOKS AND COFFEE: A Black woman-owned Tulsa, Oklahoma-based shop that elevates life stories about the experiences of people of color and marginalized communities; founded by Onikah Asamoa-Caesar.

GOOD BOOKS: A Black woman-owned Atlanta, Georgia-based store that combines the wonder of books and Black culture; founded by Katie and Katherine Mitchell.

THE LIT. BAR: A Black woman-owned independent bookstore and wine bar combination located in the Bronx, New York; founded by Noëlle Santos.

LOYALTY BOOKSTORES: A Black and queer bookseller in Washington, DC and Silver Springs, Maryland, working to diversify the book industry and promote anti-racist reading; founded by Hannah Oliver Depp.

THE LUXE LIBRARY: A Black woman-owned bookstore in the Greater New York Area that specializes in books, music and media for youth and families; founded by Delicia B. Davis.

NICHE BOOK BAR: A Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Black woman-owned bookstore showcasing new and used books and specializing in hard to find Black literature in a variety of genres; founded by Cetonia Weston.

OUR SISTER BOOKSHOPS: Two Black woman-owned bookshops, Harriet’s Bookshop and Ida’s Bookshop, celebrating women authors, artists and activists; founded by Jeannine Cook.

PLANTING PEOPLE GROWING JUSTICE PRESS AND BOOKSTORE: A Minnesota-based Black woman-led nonprofit dedicated to promoting literacy, cultural awareness and leadership development. Founded by Dr. Artika Tyner.

READER’S BLOCK: A Black and LGBTQ-owned indie bookshop providing an inclusive and welcoming environment in the Stratford community of Connecticut; founded Tondrea Mabins.

REPARATIONS CLUB: A Black and LGBTQ-owned Los Angeles, California-based concept shop featuring books and home goods; owned by Jazzi McGilbert.

ROFHIWA BOOK CAFÉ: A Black LGBTQ-owned independent book and coffee shop located in East Durham, North Carolina; owned by Bev Tumi Makhubele and Naledi Yaziyo.

THE SALT EATERS: A Black and LGBTQ-owned bookstore in Inglewood, California, prioritizing Black women, girls, femmes and gender expansive individuals; founded by Asha Grant.

SEMICOLON BOOKSTORE: A Black woman-owned Chicago, Illinois-based bookstore and art gallery nurturing the connections between literature, art and the pursuit of knowledge; founded by Danielle Mullen.

SHADES OF AFRIKA: A Black woman-owned California-based store that offers books, natural hair care, oils and holistic products and strives for the betterment of its communities; founded by Renee Quarles.

SISTER’S UPTOWN: A Black woman-owned New York City-based bookstore and culture center on a mission to provide a positive source of information and ideas; founded by Janifer and Kari Wilson.

STORIES OF A COLORFUL WORLD: A Black woman-owned online bookstore that believes every child deserves to see themselves in the books they read; founded by Vanessa Mitchell and Kanika Mobley.

STRIVE PUBLISHING AND BOOKSTORE: A Black woman-owned Minneapolis, Minnesota-based shop featuring books and products from Strive Publishing, an organization using publishing to heal, teach, learn and earn. Founded by Mary Taris.

YES, PLEASE BOOKS: A Black and queer-owned book house and care space in Scottsdale, Georgia honoring Black women and gender expansive writers and readers; founded by Lauren M. Jones.

Do you own or support a Black women- or LGBTQ-owned bookstore not mentioned here? Let us know and we’ll add it to the list!

Photo credit: Black Garnet Books

About the Author

Chris Olsen is a broadcast media veteran turned communications consultant, educator and the author of “Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose.” The founder of Publish Her and Publish Her Story, Chris has helped thousands of women tell their stories and publish their books.

About Publish Her

Publish Her is a female-founded independent publisher dedicated to elevating the words, writing and stories of women. We are passionate about amplifying the voices of women of color, women with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ+ community. We aim to make publishing an attainable, exciting and collaborative process for all.