"Small bookshops have been a dying business in the states, especially in big cities like NYC thanks to Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.com. But it seems that the number of #feminist, #Latina (and #AfroLatina)-owned independent bookstores is slowly growing and the timing couldn’t be better. They're opening up bookstores that carry books written by and for #womenofcolor. The desire to read, find information, and be part of a community is there and these ladies are meeting it.
Panamanian-American, Kalima DeSuze opened the doors of her feminist bookstore and coffee shop, @cafeconlibros_bk this past December in Crown Heights, #Brooklyn, a neighborhood the Afro-Latina knew well before it became the hipster-friendly gentrified area it is today. The inspiration behind it came from DeSuze’s “desire to create a space that is centered on the voices and narratives of women, particularly women of color and global comrades.” She wanted to bring a sense of community to the neighborhood, drawing folks from various backgrounds and walks of life, while also elevating local writers and artists.
“Black feminism saved my life. It continues to reinforce my reserves and provides guidance to be fully human. I learned about the #BlackFeminist canon from my sister comrades while organizing. I have the privilege to organize, to read at leisure, to buy books without a second thought, while many of my sisters do not. I’m seeking to bring forward what is largely unknown to folks who are not connected via the academy, organizing, or other feminist leaning spaces.” To ensure the titles are accessible (especially to women, who statistically earn less than men), books are priced at less than the full retail value.
“It’s time that women’s stories be prioritized and that a space exist explicitly for and about women,” DeSuze says. “So many of our spaces are male-dominated; even the ones that are created solely to be for and about women. My women-only spaces have served as a healing tonic and, a reminder of whose shoulders I stand on. It’s important that more of our girls and women have access to such warmth and mirroring.” (HipLatina/AM New York)