Black owned bookshops are not a new phenomenon.
From the 1960s to the 1980s, they provided a refuge for black people who would otherwise have been unable to access books.
But over the past decade, as they have become more prominent, the spaces have seen dramatic growth in popularity.
The New York Times reported that Black owned bookstore sales rose from about 10,000 to 50,000 a year from 2011 to 2015, with the number of Black owned books rising from 7.2% to 14.4%.
Now, in the New York City area, there are at least 20 Black owned and operated bookstores, according to the Black Booksellers Alliance.
The number of bookstores in the Black Belt region of the city has increased from 8 in 2014 to 27 now, according the alliance.
As of 2015, there were about 80 bookstores open in the region.
As a Black owned business, it is essential to be accountable to the community and to uphold a culture of inclusion.
The Black Bookshop Alliance has long called for the establishment of Black bookstores across the country, including a proposed legislation in the city of Atlanta that would create a black bookshop-to-bookstore partnership.
In New York, the Black bookshop movement began in 2015 and has since grown to include many other communities.
The Alliance for Black Bookshops has also called for a more inclusive definition of “Black owned” and for Black bookshopping spaces to be held to a higher standard.
“We need to redefine what is and isn’t ‘Black owned’ and how we measure and measure ourselves,” said Kathryn Williams, the head of the Black bookstore coalition, in an interview with the Huffington Post.
“The term ‘Black Bookshop’ has always been used to refer to an entire community of people who work and live together in a way that’s different than most bookstores.
And the Black owned-bookstores community is the one that has the capacity to provide that for people of color.”