52 Black-Owned Bookstores You Should Absolutely Know About

Sara Conway  //  Feb 4, 2022

52 Black-Owned Bookstores You Should Absolutely Know About

Every Friday this month we're highlighting different Black owned bookstores on our Instagram stories, but we want to amplify these stores not only during Black History Month but all year long. With that in mind, here are 18 Black owned stores you should keep in mind when looking for your next read!

The Brain Lair

Located in South Bend, IN, The Brain Lair offers a wide selection of titles that feature people all over the world, with an emphasis on people of color, people with disabilities, and people who identify as LGBTQ+.

Books and Crannies

Books and Crannies is a Black-woman owned independent bookstore, located in Martinsville, VA that features fiction and non-fiction accompanied by a selection of children's books and a wide range of titles.

Underground Books

Underground Books opened in the summer of 2003 and is the literary hub of Oak Park, California. It is a nonprofit under St. HOPE and is a gathering place for neighborhood residents. Underground books hosts book signings by local and national authors, lectures, poetry events, children's story time, radio shows and more!

The Dock Bookshop

The Dock Bookshop is the largest African American owned full service bookstore in Texas and the Southwest. Their mission is to inspire, inform, and entertain customers through books and book-related events.

Eso Won Books

Located in Los Angeles, California, Eso Won Books is one of the largest African American Bookstores in the country.

The Little Boho Bookshop

Nestled downtown in the main street of Broadway, Bayonne, New Jersey, The Little Boho Bookshop opened its doors on July 31, 2017. Born with a focus on kids, pre-teens, and young adults content, the store now includes the most current best sellers.

Loyalty Bookstores

Loyalty was founded by Hannah Oliver Depp, a Black and Queer Bookseller who has spent her career working to diversify the book industry. Located in Washington, DC with a stand-along shop in downtown Silver Spring, MD, Loyalty aims to be the Mid-Atlantic's neighborhood spot for wonderful books and unique stationery, gifts, and programming. 

Brave and Kind Books

Brave and Kind Books is a thoughtfully curated neighborhood kids bookshop that offers a unique selection of inclusive, classic, artful stories, creative workshops, story clubs, and special gifts. Located in Decatur, Georgia.

Da Book Joint

Da Book Joint is a Black woman owned business born on the southside of Chicago committed to literary growth and the positive engagement of the youth.

Sankofa Video Books & Café

Named after the internationally acclaimed film, Sankofa Video, Books & Café was founded in 1998 by filmmaking couple, Haile and Shirkiana Gerima. Located in Washinton, DC, the store specializes in videos and books about people of African descent around the world.

Sister’s Uptown Bookstore

Sister's Uptown Bookstore is the only Black owned bookstore and cultural center in Manhattan for 16 years. 

EyeSeeMe

EyeSeeMe African American Children's Bookstore was created in order to help bridge the cultural divide, so that African American children can benefit from exposure to literature that respectfully mirrors themselves, their culture and their families. Located in University City, Missouri, EyeSeeMe is the only children's bookstore devoted exclusively to promoting positive African American Images and African Amreican History while advocating for Academic Excellence.

Best Richardson African Diaspora Literature & Culture Museum

Best Richardson African Diaspora Literature & Culture Museum is a non-profit Independent, Veteran and Woman-owned museum, bookstore, and gift shop. Located in Tampa, FL the museum provides customers with educational artifacts and information on African Diaspora literary and cultural history. 

Loving Me Books

Loving Me Books is a specialty online children and teen bookstore with stories representing people of color. Exposing children to ethnicities that are not strongly represented allows thoughts of equality. Loving Me Books' goal is to promote self-love and unify children of all races.  

Brown Babies Books

Brown Babies Books is dedicated to seeing children read books that they can connect to personally and enjoy.

Ashay by the Bay

Ashay by the Bay is focused and committed to educating and empowering children through literacy. In doing so they provide the best selection of books that include "positive images" and represent Black culture.

Burgundy Books

Founded in 2005, Burgundy Books continually seeks new ideas for presenting literature to readers.

Pan-African Connection

Pan-African Connection Bookstore, Art Gallery and Resource Center was established in 2000 to fill a void: to bring a real high-quality Rare Bookstore to the Dallas area. 

44th & 3rd Bookseller

Located in Atlanta, GA, 44th & 3rd Bookseller focuses on books that represent the richness, diversity, and genius of Black expression. 

Third Eye Books Accessories & Gifts

Founded in Portland, OR in 2019, Third Eye Books Accessories & Gifts LLC features products that motivate, inspire, restore, or enhance a person’s cultural pride and to bring forth happiness and healing into the hearts of their customers. 

Bliss Books & Wine

Bliss Books & Wine is an independently owned bookstore for wine enthusiasts and book lovers. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they are currently operating in a virtual environment with their online bookstore, author events, and monthly book discussions, with occasional pop-up events around the Kansas City area. 

Solid State Books 

Solid State Books is a Black-owned, independent bookstore and café located in downtown Washington, D.C. Solid State Books features a deep and diverse selection of fiction and non-fiction titles, an extensive children’s book and young adult section, and a selection of stationery and gifts curated to appeal to customers of all ages. 

The Community Book Center

For more than 40 years, Community Book Center has been the oldest Black bookstore in the New Orleans area and a social hub of the Seventh Ward. Community Book Center hosts local events and features African-centered books, art, fabric, jewels, and an assortment of gifts and trinkets.

Black Pearl Books

An independent bookstore in Austin, TX, Black Pearl Books serves a multi-cultural, multi-generation, and multi-socio-economic community with a founding principle of “love one another as I have loved you.”

Source Booksellers

Source Booksellers is an independent bookstore in Detroit’s Midtown district with a unique niche of highlighting non-fiction books. 

Black Garnet Books 

Black Garnet is a Black, woman-owned bookstore located in the Twin Cities, MN primarily featuring Adult and YA contemporary literature by Black and racially-diverse authors. 

Black Stone Bookstore & Cultural Center

Black Stone Bookstore & Cultural Center is an independent African-American bookstore that brings a wide variety of literature, both fiction and non-fiction for adults and children, to the heart of downtown Ypsilanti, MI. 

Café con Libros

Café con Libros (coffee with books) is an intersectional Feminist commynity bookstore and coffee shop with the mission to create a vibrant community space where everyone, specifically female identified folx, feel centered, affirmed, and celebrated. 

The Collective Oakland

The Collective - Oakland is a Black-owned bookstores founded by Michelle Walton and Wesley Dawan on September 18, 2019 currently operating fully online. Their business is run with the motto “READ something DOPE. DRINK something GOOD. CHILL somewhere COOL.” at its foundation. 

Enda’s Booktique

Enda’s Booktique is a Black-owned, woman-owned, independent retail bookseller located in Duncanville (Dallas), TX, near the historical Duncanville Downtown area. Enda’s Booktique offers a variety of books written for women, about women, and by women as well as books for youth, children, and families. 

Frugal Bookstore 

Frugal Bookstore is a community bookstore located in Roxbury, MA with a passion of promoting literacy within children, teens, and adults. 

Afriware Books

Established in the Chicago suburb of Maywood in 1993, Afriware Books, Co. is a Black-owned bookstore and resource center that provides a platform to showcase authors, artists, and advocates who infuse the community with a sense of cultural pride. 

The Lit Bar

The Lit Bar, founded by Noëlle Santos on National Independent Bookstore Day in 2019, is the only brick and mortar bookstore in the Bronx. The Lit Bar encourages curious readers and welcomes literary and community gatherings—while their wine bar connects the great pastimes of social sipping and introverted reading. 

Estelita’s Library

Estelita’s Library is Black/Brown-owned Community Bookstore that specializes in books focused on social justice, ehtnic studies, and liberation movements. 

Fulton Street Books & Coffee

Fulton Street Books and Coffee is a bookstore with a mission to increase intergenerational literacy and build better communities by centering the stories, narratives, and lived experiences of people of color and marginalized communities. 

Rose Café

Rose Café is a place of opportunity, a space that fosters community and a culture grounded in support, trust, and tranquility as well as making it possible for people that have been left out or neglected to find their voice. 

Onyx Bookstore Cafe

Onyx Bookstore is a Black-owned, woman-owned, unique and relaxing independent bookstore cafe and a supporter of local Black-owned businesses and artists.

Cultured Books

Cultured Books is a pop-up children’s bookstore with a mission to first foster a love of self by showing positive images and sharing great stories about people of color. 

Pyramid Art, Books, and Custom Framing

Established in 1988 as the Pyramid Gallery, Pyramid Art, Books, and Custom Framing was born from a passion for and appreciation of Black Art and culture. Over the years, Pyramid Art has brought enrichment, culture, and education of this niche market to Little Rock. 

MahoganyBooks 

Founded in 2007, MahoganyBooks is a local independent bookstore that believes in social entrepreneurship and has taken a leadership role in the African American community by promoting reading, writing, and cultural awareness as tools to improve self-esteem, self-love, and, ultimately, communities to enrich the lives of motivated individuals. 

Malik Books

Malik Books is an independent African American bookstore located in California that specializes in books, African American calendars, and African American gifts full of cultural diversity that help create a positive impact on self-reflection, self-esteem, and self-awareness.

Mocha Books

Mocha Books is an online and pop-up bookstore based in Tulsa, OK with the focus of encouraging confident readers, highlighting and giving access to books with Black and brown protagonists, and creating a pathway of visibility to and for Black indie writers, illustrators, and publishers. 

Harriet’s Bookshop 

Located in Philadelphia, PA, Harriett’s Bookshop is named for the historical heroine Harriett Tubman and specializes in celebrating women authors, women artists, and women activists. 

Hakim’s Bookstore

Hakim’s Bookstore is Philadelphia’s oldest Black owned bookstore, founded by Dawud Hakim in the late 1950s. 

Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery

Based in Chicago, Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery is a Black woman-owned bookstore and gallery space committed to nurturing the connection between literature, art, and the pursuit of knowledge and using the power of words to better the community. 

Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books

Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books is a coffee shop and bookstore located in the heart of the Germantown section of Philadelphia. Founded by Marc Lamont Hill in 2017, Uncle Bobbie’s seeks to provide underserved communities with access to books and provide a space where everyone feels valued. 

Kizzy’s Books & More

Located in Winter Garden, FL, Kizzy’s Books & More is an independent bookstore committed to embracing the African-American culture and the joy of reading. 

Niche Book Bar

Niche Book Bar is a Milwaukee-based bookstore serving up the full spectrum of Black literature and wine. 

People Get Ready

Established in New Haven, CT, People Get Ready is an independent bookstore that is 50% Black-owned and 100% woman-owned with book selections that intentionally reflects the demographics of the surrounding community.

Pyramid Books

Opened in June 1993 in Boynton Beach, FL, Pyramid Books is an African-American owned and operated community bookstore that offers a wide selection of books, including hard to find ones, to match the Afrocentric interests of its customers.

Marcus Books

Founded in 1960 by Drs. Raye and Julian Richardson and named after the political activist and author Marcus Garvey, Marcus Books fiercely advocates for Black history, exchange, and knowledge of self. The bookstore has become a literary and cultural hallmark that has hosted iconic authors including Toni Morrison, Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Angela Davis, and more. 

Olive Tree Books-n-Voices

Located at 97 Hancock Street in Springfield, MA, Olive Tree Books-n-Voices was founded in 2004. This homey community bookstore emphasizes the connection to various forms of expression, including books, art, and music.