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'A New Moment for Black Bookstores' by Eugene Holley Jr.


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'A New Moment for Black Bookstores' by Eugene Holley Jr.

Eugene Holley Jr. profiles four Black booksellers for Publishers Weekly in “A New Moment for Black Bookstores.” He writes the following:

The publishing world has had to adapt to a business landscape that is rapidly changing as a result of the pandemic and the response to continuing police violence against unarmed Black people. The 130 Black-owned bookstores in the U.S. have had to deal with these broader challenges, as well as with cultural and economic forces that uniquely affect them. …

As challenging as this period is for bookstores like Marcus Books and Turning Pages, other outlets, like Semicolon, a new bookstore in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, are seeing growth. ‘The pandemic has actually given us a boost, because everybody started paying us more attention and found out we actually existed,’ said owner D.L. Mullen. …

When Black Lives Matter and other social justice movements began to attract widespread attention, people were ordering only anti-racist titles, Mullen at Semicolon said. ‘But we made a point to introduce Black fiction to our readers,’ she added. ‘We made it a point to do that every time someone ordered an anti-racist title.’

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