Happy Friday Night Worms! Today’s #fridayfeels are going to be a little different because like a lot of us, I participated in #blackouttuesday earlier this week. I haven’t posted anything on social media since Monday and I have been sharing resources in my Instagram stories on how we can support the black community. When I did a little more research, I realized that the blackout was a trendy thing that started with great intentions but the execution wasn’t all that great. And you guys, that’s okay. Allies aren’t always going to get it right when it comes to trying to support those we wish to stand with. As long as we are willing to listen and learn from our mistakes, we are still allies. So I ended up asking myself, “HOW CAN I DO MORE?”
I decided to do more research and educate myself. In doing that I realized that it’s okay if I can’t go to protests; there are other ways to support Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the Black community. Donating money to your local chapter of BLM or to different bail funds is one way. Supporting Black-owned businesses by purchasing from them is another. Not able to donate or buy? THAT IS OKAY. There are lots of other ways to help. Maybe you could go to a peaceful protest in your area. You can share resources with others about how they can help. Even just having difficult conversations with your friends and family about race is important. Educate yourself. There are tons of books, movies, and podcasts on this subject to help you learn more about anti-racism and inequality (you can’t help to change a system you don’t understand.) DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, FORGET TO VOTE.
Racism has deep roots and has been around for a long time. It isn’t going to disappear overnight. Continuing to listen to the Black community and learn from them is key to seeing change. Continuing to speak out against racism is key to seeing change. Continuing to actively seek out information is key to seeing change.
I still had this thought about how I, personally, can do more. So I thought about my platform here at Night Worms and how I can use it as an ally. I thought about who reads my articles and what you are all here for. And, duh, it’s BOOKS! You all come here from the horror and bookish communities. You come here for book recommendations and the latest news in the horror lit world. So why not make a page that is an easy resource page for the bookish community? We book nerds can support Black authors and Black booksellers. This resource page will not be exhaustive, but I will do my best to add as much as I can. I also want to share some #readalong information and some links to things that will better help us be more supportive.
Let’s start with some Black-owned booksellers because you all know you spend too much at Amazon. Some of these booksellers have had to shut down temporarily to fulfill orders. The book community has been great to them and should continue to do so. If you find that the bookstore you are looking at is temporarily not taking orders, I encourage you to keep checking back so that you, too, can support them ALL THE TIME (not just right now).
-“Founded by Isis Asare, Sistah Scifi is a cauldron of all things afro-futurism; Black mysticism, science fiction noir, and traditional voodoo; casting spells to uplift literature written by Black women.”
-”MahoganyBooks is a local independent bookstore that believes in social entrepreneurship. We take 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 our communities to enrich the lives of motivated individuals.”
-”We are a specialty bookshop in our thirtieth year of doing business. Our assignment is to help produce justice and peace.”
-”First African American bookstore in Phila Pa founded by the late Dawud Hakim.Family owned and operated over 59 years.”
-”Online bookstore to elevate and empower our people through literature and education.”
-”The Key Bookstore is an interactive online bookstore with the mission to encourage the community to bask in the reading culture experience.”
-”Fishtown’s independent bookshop & creative space celebrating women authors, artists, and activists.”
-”Chicago's only Black woman-owned bookstore and gallery space.”
-”Cool People. Dope Books. Great Coffee.”
-”Source Booksellers, an independent bookstore in Detroit's Midtown district, is a unique niche of non-fiction books. We offer books and unusual sideline items that enhance your life and your lifestyle.”
-”Our venue encourages curious readers and welcomes literary and community gatherings—while our wine bar connects the great pastimes of social sipping and introverted reading. What better way to loosen our tongues and talk about the books we love? We offer a carefully curated selection of general interest books, gift items, and programming which emphasize local interest and diversity for all ages. “
-”We aim to be a place where journalists, writers, professors, students and bona fide lovers of African-American literature & culture will find a spot of solace in the heart. We host author readings, book clubs, poetry nights and children story times.”
-”Books and Crannies is an independent bookstore which opened on September 20, 2016. With the closing of all major book retailers in this area, Books and Crannies has opened a new market in Uptown Martinsville that was at the time unfulfilled.
We are a general interest/literary bookstore featuring fiction and non-fiction accompanied by a selection of children's books and a wide range of titles. We have the ability to order any books still in publication. We also have a used book section featuring $1 paperbacks and $3 hardbacks. Within the store, self served coffee is available via a Keurig and complimentary water is offered.”
-”Cafe con Libros (coffee with books) is an intersectional Feminist community bookstore and coffee shop. Through our choice of books, programming and great coffee, we endeavor to create a vibrant community space where everyone; specifically female identified folx, feel centered, affirmed and celebrated.”
-”African-American books and authors are our specialty: fiction, nonfiction, self-help, metaphysics, mysteries, Egyptology, Pan African, spiritual, science fiction, self-published and hard to find books. Pyramid Books Editing Services is available to aspiring and published writers. Pyramid Books celebrates Black History Month 365 days a year to educate all people about the African Diaspora. A proud Essence and NY Times reporting store. We stand for Hope and Possibility in the book industry.”
-”Fulton Street is a space to call home. It is a space to build community and to change our city through civic discourse. It is a space on a mission to increase literacy, with people at the center of all the work that we do. It is a space for coffee, books, and a good time. It is a space for you; you who have been longing for a space created with you in mind. At Fulton Street, we center the stories, narratives and lived experiences of people of color and marginalized communities. Welcome to Fulton Street. Welcome home.”
-”We are a community bookstore located in Roxbury with a passion of promoting literacy within our children, teens and adults. We've got all these great books (and getting more all the time) at incredible prices that we want you to see.”
-”We have successfully become a positive staple in the community of Washington Heights and recently celebrated 15 years of community service. We are not just a book store; we are a community resource center for the exchange of information and ideas. Our motto is “knowledge is key”. We provide an educational, emotional, spiritual and loving environment for our diverse community where all are welcomed.”
-”We like books. We like you. And we’re ready to bring the best diverse books and events to our community. Loyalty was founded by Hannah Oliver Depp, a Black and Queer Bookseller who has spent her career working to diversify the book industry in order for it to better serve the powerful communities of color and queerness. We aim to be the Mid-Atlantic’s neighborhood spot for wonderful books and unique stationery, gifts, and programming. Our staff and our selection highlight the diverse voices and creatives that make our communities great. Our intersectional community is important to our staff, therefore those are the books you'll find centered in our store, in our programming, and in our promotions. We work to create an inclusive, welcoming environment and provide books and goods for the home because, well, books are home. By creating a team of local vendors and community partners in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, MD that center Black, PoC, and Queer voices we create singular shopping and event experiences.”
-”The store was started by co-owners/ best friends Valinda Miller and Arrylee Satterfield as a way to spread their love for a good book and give back to their community.“
Now let’s talk about some black authors we can support! Just like the bookstore list, this won’t be exhaustive. There are SO MANY authors and I encourage you to read books from the authors listed here as well as any other black authors you find!
Alright, now let’s chat about some books by Black authors. Since Night Worms focuses on horror, I’m going to list mainly horror books. I don’t even need to tell you guys again that this list isn’t going to include every book written by black authors. You all know how many books exist in the world.
These are just a few books by Black authors, but I also wanted to include books to educate you on how to be a better ally to the black community.
White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-first Century
The Invention of the White Race: Racial Oppression and Social Control
Libro.fm put together an awesome list of audiobooks that will help educate you on how to be an ally as well! You can check that out here.
Over on the Ladies of Horror Fiction site, they also made a killer list of horror media made by Black women. You can check that out here.
There are a lot of people in the book community that are dropping their TBRs so that they can read books from Black authors. Sadie, aka Mother Horror , one of the owners of Night Worms, is hosting this readalong of Ghost Summer by Tananarive Due. You can read with her and follow along on instagram or twitter.
This list is in no way complete so feel free to leave a comment and add to it. I would love to learn about some more bookstores, authors, or books that I have missed. Have a great weekend and stay safe, Night Worms!
Follow Kallie on Instagram @pageandparlor