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The FBI's War on Black-Owned Bookstores


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From the article which appears in The Atlantic:

“Indeed, the FBI’s war against black bookstores represents a sad chapter in the history of law enforcement in the U.S., a time when federal agents dispensed with all notions of freedom of speech as they targeted black entrepreneurs and their customers for buying and selling literature they deemed politically subversive.”





Of course this is just one part of a multifaceted campaign to crush the Black community. Growing up in the 'hood we saw this assault first hand. 


The article mentions Una Mulzac's store in Harlem.  Una was still running the store even after I started AALBC.com.  The article actually doesn't do justice to the stuff she and other booksellers had to endure....  What I would really like to know is why aren't Black publications writing these articles?  


It really is an amazing feat for Black people to have done as well as we have given the historical and ongoing attacks against us and our institutions.


Fortunately there are actually positive signs for the Black Book world.  I added more bookstores to my database in 2017 than any year previously.  Shoot, it may have been the first year there was a net increase in the number of independent bookstores since the late 1990's.


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Guest crltnmbr1

This is awesome. I just hope we can keep the momentum going by continuing to support these establishments as well as open new stores!!! I want to bring your attention to a new bookstore located in the Bronx,NY.  Although I haven't been there yet, I've heard some very good things about this budding bookstore. It's called the Lit Bar. It is owned by a Afro Latina who decided to open up this establishment in response to the closing of the last bookstore in the area which happens to be a Barnes & Noble. I wish this young lady much success as she embarks on feeding the minds of millions of New Yorkers!!! I anticipate visiting this bookstore very soon as I hail from Jamaica, Queens NY!!!

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Hi Guest, The Lit Bar has not opened. 


There used to a bookstore on Jamaica Ave in the small mall (I forget the name of the mall).


There is a Black owned indie bookstore in Harlem you can check out:  Sister's Uptown: https://aalbc.com/bookstores/store.php?store_name=Sister%26rsquo%3Bs+Uptown+Bookstore Unfortunately the media does not pay the store much any attention but they are actually open.  If fact they are closer to many areas in the Bronx than the B&N that closed which was closer to Yonkers than the rest of the Bronx.


Sister's Uptown are also the official bookseller for the National Black Writers Conference

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