Black-owned bookshops to support now and always

Parents and their child standing in front of a book shelf.

An ongoing list of physical and online stores based in the US and the UK

By the Soho House team   Above image courtesy of Cafe Con Libro   Friday 5 June, 2020  Short read

For those looking to expand their literary collection, including adding any of the works on our anti-racist reading list, consider taking the opportunity to support Black-owned bookshops. 

Please note, we have put an asterisk next to those that have online shops.

This is in no way a comprehensive list – if you have any suggestions of shops you think should be included, please send us your suggestions at We will be continuously updating this list as we receive your recommendations. 

*The Lit. Bar 
131 Alexander Avenue, The Bronx, NY 10454
Bronx native and resident, Noëlle Santos opened the doors to The Lit. Bar in April 2019. To date, it is the only independent bookstore in the entire borough.
Currently selling via Bookshop:

*Café con Libros
724 Prospect Place, Brooklyn, NY 11216
An intersectional feminist bookstore, coffee shop and community art gallery opened by Kalima DeSuze in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. 

*Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery
515 N Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60642
Opened by founder DL Mullen in Chicago in 2019, Semicolon is currently the city’s only Black woman-owned bookstore and gallery space.
Currently selling via Bookshop:

*Eso Won Books
4327 Degnan Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90008
Founders James Fugate and Tom Hamilton have been selling a vast selection of books on Black history and culture in south Los Angeles since 1990. They just reopened their doors last week after lockdown orders were eased.
Online orders normally available, but at the time of publishing, the store had paused online orders due to overwhelming demand.

*Ashay By The Bay
157 Albatrosse Way, Vallejo, CA 94589
Founded by Deborah Day in 2000, this shop is known as the leading Black children’s bookstore in California’s Bay Area.

*Mahogany Books
1231 Good Hope Rd SE, Washington, DC 20020
Launched in 2007 by husband and wife duo Ramunda and Derrick Young as an online bookstore specialising in books written for, by, or about people of the African diaspora, Mahogany Books opened its first physical location in Washington, DC in 2017.

*The Key Bookstore
This Connecticut-based online Afrocentric bookstore specialises in science fiction, magical realism, fantasy, and horror written by Black women.

210 S 52nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19139-4002
Philadelphia’s oldest African-American-owned bookstore has been family-run since it opened in 1959.

*Harriett’s Bookshop
258 E Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Named for Harriet Tubman, Jeannine A Cook opened the bookstore in Philadelphia in January, with a focus on women authors, artists and activists.
Online orders normally available, but at the time of publishing the store had paused online orders due to overwhelming demand. It is still accepting donations to support its business. 

*Loyalty Bookstore
Inside Willow on Upshur, 843 Upshur Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
Founder Hannah Oliver Depp, a Black and queer bookseller, opened Loyalty Bookstore with the aim to diversify the book industry. Loyalty Bookstore hosts a virtual Antiracist Book Club that is a ‘safe, focused space in which to discuss the systematic structures of racism and the work we can do individually and community-wide to dismantle them.’

Black Stone Bookstore & Cultural Center
214 W Michigan Avenue, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Opened in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in 2013, the store specialises in African-American and African books.

Source Booksellers 
4240 Cass Avenue #105, Detroit, MI 48201
Founded by Janet Webster Jones, the daughter of a librarian and a retired educator from the Detroit Public Schools, Source Booksellers is a nonfiction bookstore and community space.
A woman sitting next to a table with books on it.