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Women’s Online Magazine

Spotlighting Women and Literature

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We all love a good book! As the New Year commences and we ground ourselves upon new habits, reading is the

perfect way to get you going. Reading makes for the ideal escape with so much pressure and bad

news on social media these days. Allow me to

introduce you to various books, mom & pop bookshops, + enthusiasts who curated their platforms.

 

“The Free Black Women’s Library,” founded by Olaronke Akinmowo, is the

contemporary vibe of New York. With Olaronke’s background in set design and love of

books, she began setting up shop right on her brownstone stoop in Brooklyn. This small

space created a new way of book shopping. At each of her events, hundreds of books

are uniquely displayed for pedestrians to stop by and purchase or trade. Olaronke’s ideas

instantly made a hit! So much so that you can find some of the

inspiration even on the West Coast. Franchised, you’ll catch “The Free Black Women’s Library (LA)” and the new

bookstore in Inglewood, CA. At this storefront, cool chick Asha Grant is the owner of

“The Salt Eaters.” The Salt Eaters is a new spot to find gently used books while in the

heart of Inglewood with all of its historical value.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CB-858ZJMFR/?utm_medium=copy_link

 

While in Brooklyn, its neighboring city also has a modern bookstore named “The Lit

Bar”. It’s a catchy name if you’re looking for happy hour, and that’s precisely what it is, but

for readers! This trendy store is in the heart of the Bronx and is owned by Noelle Santos. At the

Lit Bar, you can find many popular books and celebrity guest speakers. While

Noelle was in the process of starting her brick-and-mortar business; she often shared her

experiences on Instagram with comedic relief. Noelle’s personality is very relatable and

well-informed on starting a business from scratch while thriving through a pandemic.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CTxdgTIJ0-e/?utm_medium=copy_link

 

When you think of Tulsa, it may ring a bell of Black Wall Street and all of its

historical excellence. Since the tragic event of the Tulsa race massacre in 1921, the city

has its way of slow recovery. But not for “Mocha Books”! Shionka McGlory has a cozy

bookstore and online site by the name of “Mocha Books,” which genuinely supports black

Authors. Shionka’s collection of books ranges from children’s tales to adult selections.

With her growing online business and pop-up shop, she is putting Tulsa back

on the map! Shionka is all about supporting the book community with her endless catalog

of black writers and new ways of promoting her brand. Her journey began in 2017

inspired by her own children’s love for reading while homeschooled and the

lack of representation in the literature community. Shionka also learned about the school-

to-prison pipeline a few years back while interning for an after-school program which

fueled her passion for encouraging reading.

Coast to coast, you see women playing a huge part in the book industry, whether a writer,

a creative, or a business owner. Many believe that tangible books are a thing of the past, but

these women have proven literature can be timeless and trendy!

 

For more information on the businesses mentioned, visit social media pages:

(@thefreeblackwomenslibrary)

(@readwithmochabooks)

(@thelitbar)

(@thefreeblackwomenslibraryLA)

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