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Keeping the Black Book Ecosystem Strong


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You all have heard me talk about the importance of the Black Book Ecosystem Strong, and why it is so important to us as a culture to maintain our agency when it comes to determining who an how our stories are told. #readingblack is one effort and the community conversations are another.

 

THIS Sunday, March 22, 2020, 6 - 7:30 pm Eastern, I to invite you to participate our first community conversation, “Keeping the Black Book Ecosystem Strong: Black Books in the Age of the Corona Virus.”

 

The conversation will take place online in the form of a video conference using Zoom and will be by 

  • Paul Coates (Black Classic Press in Baltimore),
  • Kassahun Checole (African World Press in Trenton),
  • James Fugate (Eso Won Books in Los Angeles),
  • Shirikiana Germina (Sankofa Video and Books in DC),
  • Cheryl and Wade Hudson (Just Us Books West Orange, NJ, and
  • Troy Johnson (AALBC.com, Tampa).

 

This will be the first of several conversations. You will need to register in advance it you are interested in joining us.

 

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/v5AlcuqprTIrCWOmPSMLh5fwrZ6HBNLM_Q

 

 

Keeping the Black Book Ecosystem Strong

 

 

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Marcus Books, the oldest black-owned bookstore in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA needs your help to preserve black history.  Go Here for more information.

Edited by Mel Hopkins
clarification on location
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It has been six months since this conversation. Will there be a follow up? I would like to know how much has changed since then.

 

Do authors, publishers, distributors, and bookstores know they are part of the Black Books Ecosystem?


Donna or Donia Craddock sounded like she was talking about #BlackBookStoreDay.

 

"What would happen if Marcus Garvey had a laptop." Ethelbert Miller (Paul liked that one.)

 

 

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23 hours ago, Nnamdi Azikiwe said:

The Black Books Ecosystem needs a white paper defining it and it's prospects for the future.

 

Are you signing up to do it.  I'll be at your disposal to answer any questions you might have.

 

When we had the conversation back in March, booksellers were facing an existential threat -- indeed some still are.

 

But, shortly after the public execution of George Floyd things changed abruptly. Large numbers of people, most white, begin to buying "anti-racist" books.  These people actively supported Black-owned bookstores.  Not only were some bookstores thrown a life line, many experienced record levels of sales!

 

This surge on business exposed some problems.

 

Many booksellers could not scale to mean demand.  Companies like Amazon and, most aggressively Bookshop.org, swooped in a took business that really was intended for Black booksellers.  Many platforms from the American Booksellers Association to Orpah Magazine (online) helped play up Bookshop while marginalizing or outright ignoring Black booksellers. 

 

I'm in the process of trying to create a coalition of booksellers committed to working together and sharing best practices.  This will be hard because I'm resources constrained as are many booksellers.  Seven months have already passed and we have not reconvened...

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8 hours ago, Troy said:

Are you signing up to do it

I guess I am.

 

8 hours ago, Troy said:

Many platforms from the American Booksellers Association to Orpah Magazine (online) helped play up Bookshop while marginalizing or outright ignoring Black booksellers.

 

Was that an act of omission or commission? If it was commission then we need to quantify how big a market we are dealing with financially, because the dollar factor is the driving force. If it was omission, then it is important for them to learn the errors of their ways. One of the major objectives of the white paper would be to either define the contours of the ecosystem or educate ABA, Oprah and others about the importance of the BBE..

 

8 hours ago, Troy said:

I'm in the process of trying to create a coalition of booksellers committed to working together and sharing best practices

Paul's quote of you at the end seemed like he was calling on you to organize the next convo.

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