The deep and systemic racial inequalities and murder of innocent black lives is absolutely horrific. Simultaneously, we also are experiencing a global pandemic requiring an extension to social distancing measures in many cities across the country, and it’s been a lot to deal with. Independent Black-owned bookstores are among the many small businesses impacted by government-mandated shutdowns, and we hope you’ll consider shopping from these Black-owned bookstores, not just now but also in the future.

Sankofa Video, Books | @sankofadc

This Black owned cultural hub in the DC area is perfect for anyone looking for some good grub while they read. Since their founding in 1998 they have specialized in promoting books and videos by Black artists. 

Carol’s Books | @Carolsbooksstore

Cute cats and female empowerment? What’s not to love! This Sacramento based book shop has a fully online catalog to choose from as they are closed in person. 

Grassrootz Bookstore | @grassrootzbookstore

This Phoenix based bookstore is a Black, activist, worker owned shop with a strong community atmosphere. Their name comes from their mission and efforts to formulate independence and positivity in the Black Phoenix community. If you’re not looking to buy, they have an in-store community library with flexible extensions and the ability to borrow a book for 30 days for only five dollars. 

Semicolon Bookstore | @semicolonchi

Black Woman-owned. Vibrant Bookstore. Stunning Gallery. Semicolon Bookstore is changing the narrative as Chicago’s only Black woman-owned bookstore and gallery space. Their doors are open for reading Tues-Sun from NOON to 7, just BYOB (and don’t forget your face mask!).

Mahogany Books | @mahoganybooks

Because #blackbooksmatter and we couldn’t agree more. If you’re located in the DC area we encourage you to visit Mahogany Books IRL once things open up again. Until then you can shop from their online bookstore and they ship nationwide.

Uncle Bobbie’s | @unclebobbies

Cool People. Dope Books. Great Coffee. Due to Covid-19 Uncle Bobbie’s has temporarily closed their doors but is still available online to shop for books, audiobooks and apparel. This Philadelphia-based bookstore has also set up a GoFundMe to provide financial relief for their staff.

The Lit Bar | @thelitbar

Wine bar. Café. Official bookstore of Wakanda. Need we say more? Located in the Bronx, The Lit Bar has temporarily shut its doors due to Covid-19 and is allowing customers to shop through their online store because reading is essential.

Harriett’s Bookshop | @harrietts_bookshop

Named “the coolest addition to Philly’s Indie Bookshop Scene”, Harriett’s is located in Fishtown and bookshop owner Jeannine A. Cook describes her store as “if black girl magic were a bookshop.” Harriett’s Bookshop and creative space celebrates women authors, artists and activists and you can shop for the books on your list online.

Diverse Spines | @diversespines

We have been long-time instagram fans of Diverse Spines, the perfect destination for discovering your next diverse read. You can shop from their curated diverse lists on Bookshop highlighting black women and women of color authors.

Brave + Kind Bookshop | @braveandkindbooks

Brave + Kind Bookshop is a thoughtfully curated little neighborhood kids bookshop located in Oakhurst with a unique selection of diverse, classic, artful stories, creative workshops, story clubs and gifts.