Black-owned bookstores have a rich tradition of being a place for knowledge, community, and resistance. As a result, many of them, in cities nationwide, were targeted by the FBI in the 1960s and 70s as it worked to infiltrate and destroy the Black Power Movement.
Still, over the years, these pillars of Black communities have remained vital hubs of Black knowledge and power. According to Publishers Weekly, in 1999, there were 325 Black-owned bookstores in the U.S.
That number decreased over the years, with there only being 54 in 2014, but now that number has seen an uptick. According to the African American Literature Book Club, there are approximately 108 Black-owned bookstores in the U.S. today, and including the recent opening of 34-year-old New York native, Darlene Okpo’s Brooklyn-based store, Adanne, that number is up to about 109.