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Joshua C. Davis, ‘Black-Owned Bookstores: Their Struggle for Survival and Revival’
March 28, 2019 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Recent scholarship has rediscovered the pioneering role of Black bookstores, an often-overlooked element in the story of Black community development and Black empowerment in the U.S. The Stone Center’s 2019 African Diaspora Lecture and Roundtable brings together former and current bookstore owners from around the country and places them in conversation with activists and scholars who have examined their history. Black bookstores were central in the politics and activism of Black communities in the U.S. in the years leading up to the Civil Rights Movement and the subsequent development of other movements centered around Black Power, Black nationalism, Black Internationalism and Pan-Africanism. In the 1970’s and 1980’s Black feminists, as well as Black gay and lesbian activists/artists, also found Black bookstores to be a formidable weapon in fighting for recognition and rights.
Alumni of Carolina, Joshua C. Davis is assistant professor of history at the University of Baltimore. Davis’s recent book, From Head Shops to Whole Foods: The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs (Columbia University Press, 2017), includes a chapter entitled ‘Liberation Through Literacy: African American Bookstores, Black Power, and the Mainstreaming of Black Books.’ Davis will be joined by several activists and former and current bookstore owners.
This event is sponsored by the The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History