27 Black-Owned Bookstores To Support Today & Always
As protests against the injustices of police brutality and institutional racism continue to rage across the United States, many have been left wondering how they can support Black-owned businesses in these difficult times. Bustle has pulled together a list of 27 Black-owned bookstores taking remote orders in the United States today, so that readers everywhere can put their money toward supporting Black writers and booksellers, because hashtags are not enough.
Recent protests in all 50 states have highlighted the need for change in the United States, where Black individuals are three times more likely to be killed by police than their white neighbors, according to Mapping Police Violence.
Websites like Travel Noire and the African American Literature Book Club maintain lists of Black-owned bookstores around the world, which are more comprehensive than the one you'll find below. However, Bustle reached out to nearly 100 bookstores for inclusion on this list in order to determine which in the United States are currently fulfilling remote orders. Here are the 27 Black-owned bookstores you can online shop from today:
Pyramid Art, Books & Custom Framing (Little Rock)
Open since 1988, Little Rock, Arkansas' Pyramid Art, Books & Custom Framing carries books for all ages and interests, and hosts face-to-face and virtual events with African American authors. The store offers curbside service and is currently taking orders through its virtual storefront, via email at email@example.com, and by phone at (501) 372-5824.
Ashay by the Bay (Vallejo)
A reseller specializing in diverse books for children, Ashay by the Bay opened in 2000 and has sold books online since 2002. The store also carries a curated selection of adult books, which include biographies and historical texts, as well as popular self-care works by Black authors.
Marcus Books (Oakland)
The United States' oldest Black-owned bookstore, Marcus Books of Oakland, California told Bustle that it will take online orders via this Google Form. Readers can contact Marcus Books at (510) 652-2344 for more information.
The Multicultural Children's Bookstore (Richmond)
Owned and operated by children's book author Tamara Shiloh, The Multicultural Children's Bookstore features a curated collection that aims to reflect the experiences of children of color, LGBTQ+ kids, and children with disabilities. You can watch virtual storytimes and make purchases at the store's website.
Shades of Afrika (Long Beach)
Specializing in personal products, essential oils, herbs, and educational books, California's Shades of Afrika bookstore is open to the public in Long Beach, California. Shopping remotely? Shades of Afrika will ship your online order within 24 hours of purchase.
Underground Books (Oak Park)
Founded in 2003, Oak Park, California's Underground Books tells Bustle that it hopes to have its online order system ready to go in June. Part of the larger St. HOPE non-profit organization, Underground Books offers author events, story times, and radio broadcasts for interested readers.
Best Richardson African Diaspora Literature & Culture Museum (Tampa)
In the book business since 1997, the Best Richardson African Diaspora Literature & Culture Museum tells Bustle that it is currently in the process of moving its stock online. Readers can shop online with a 10% discount during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cultured Books (St. Petersburg)
A pop-up children's bookstore currently holding virtual story times on its Facebook page, St. Petersburg, Florida's Cultured Books also allows children to buy books by writing book reports about what they read, funded by community donations on Venmo.
Pyramid Books (Boynton Beach)
In addition to children's books and adult fiction and nonfiction, Pyramid Books of Boynton Beach, Florida also sells clothing and ceremonial items, such as dashikis and kinaras. The store currently takes orders through its website, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and by phone at (561) 731-4422.
All Things Inspiration Giftique (Mableton)
Mableton, Georgia's All Things Inspiration Giftique is a Christian bookstore offering mainstream fiction and nonfiction alongside spiritual texts and resources. Readers may shop via the store website or by calling (678) 671-0270.
Black Dot Cultural Center & Bookstore (Lithonia)
Begun as a pop-up clothing vendor in Atlanta, Georgia in 2013, the Black Dot Cultural Center & Bookstore now offers books, personal care items, home goods, accessories, and DVDs, in addition to apparel. Readers can shop online at the store's website today.
Click here to shop.
Good Books (Atlanta)
Begun as an Instagram-only bookstore, Katie Mitchell's Good Books was born from the founder's love of Black literature. The store is still "celebrating Blackness through literature" today. You can shop online at Good Books' website right now.
The Listening Tree Bookstore (Decatur)
A children's bookstore dedicated to nurturing young entrepreneurs and promoting Black authors and their work, the Listening Tree Bookstore also offers a monthly book club with virtual meetings for children.
Afriware Books (Maywood)
Maywood, Illinois' Afriware Books sells books, DVDs, games, jewelry, and protective clothing and accessories online. Readers can also shop from curated lists of books on metaphysics and spirituality, natural hair, history, and business, as well as peruse Afriware's collections of general fiction and nonfiction for all ages.
Da Book Joint (Chicago)
Founded as a brick-and-mortar store in 2007, Da Book Joint went exclusively online after Amazon began to dominate the book-selling scene. Although the store's website is currently undergoing maintenance, the shop continues to take online orders via email, at email@example.com.
Frontline Books (Chicago)
Founded in 1982 by Ras Sekou Tafari, Frontline Books is dedicated to bringing Black literature to Chicago readers. This Rastafarian shop also sells eBooks from its online storefront.
Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery (Chicago)
DL Mullen's Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery is a BYOB bookstore featuring a curated in-house collection and a rich virtual storefront offering a wider selection of reads. Orders may be picked up curbside in Chicago or shipped directly to shoppers' homes.
Brain Lair Books (South Bend)
Like many of the stores on this list, Brain Lair Books offers multiple ways for remote shoppers to connect with its stocked shelves. This bookstore is unique, however, in that readers can show their support by signing up for monthly book memberships that deliver fresh reads, as well as exclusive sales and discounts, right to their doors.
Loyalty Bookstore (Silver Spring and Washington D.C.)
An independent bookstore serving book Silver Spring, Maryland and Washington D.C.'s Petworth neighborhood, Loyalty Bookstore organizes author events and book club meetings while still serving Mid-Atlantic communities with the ethnically diverse literature they crave. You can buy eBooks, audiobooks, and order physical volumes from Loyalty's website.
Olive Tree Books-n-Voices (Springfield)
Although it has always been devoted to in-person shopping, Springfield, Massachusetts' Olive Tree Books-n-Voices is currently taking remote orders through Facebook, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and via text at (413) 250-7248.
The Lit. Bar (Bronx)
Founded by Noëlle Santos in 2019, three years after the Bronx lost its one-and-only bookstore, The Lit. Bar continues to serve its "bookboos" virtually. Although the attached wine bar is closed due to COVID-19 at the time of this writing, The Lit. Bar continues to fulfill online orders from its curated selection in the meantime.
Ujamaa Bookstore (Columbus)
Columbus, Ohio's Ujamaa Bookstore hosts career fairs and health care drives on-site, and sells personal care items online. Orders from the store's catalog of books may be placed by calling (614) 258-4633.
The Black Reserve Bookstore (Lansdale)
Currently operating through social media, The Black Reserve Bookstore plans to re-open its physical store in Lansdale, Pennsylvania in June. In addition to books, the store also offers clothing, art, and personal care items.
Books & Stuff (Philadelphia)
A bookstore serving children, teens, and adults, Philadelphia's Books & Stuff is currently transitioning to an online shopfront. The store offers grab-bag-style "SURPRISE" packages that allow readers to get their hands on fun, new material without the stress of having to pick it out for themselves.
Harriett's Bookshop (Philadelphia)
Newly opened this year, Harriett's Bookshop has received so many orders recently that they've had to press pause on new requests from shoppers. The store continues to fulfill existing orders, with the hopes of serving new readers soon, and is currently accepting Venmo donations from anyone interested in helping to keep Harriett's afloat.
The Dock Bookshop (Fort Worth)
Open since 2008, The Dock Bookshop contains 4,000 square feet of books, beverages, gifts, personal care items, and other merchandise. The bookstore also hosts two radio shows, Onshore and Dock Power Hour, which focus on publishing and socioeconomic issues, respectively.
Enda's Booktique (Duncanville)
Located southwest of Dallas, Texas, Enda's Booktique specializes in books by, for, and about women. Patrons can visit the bricks-and-mortar store, or shop online for curbside pickup and home delivery.
With additional reporting by K.W. Colyard