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June 03, 2020

Support black-owned businesses in Philly and buy from these bookstores

Businesses Bookstores
black-owned bookstores Pixabay/Pexels

Check out this list of black-owned bookstores in Philadelphia, including Harriett's Bookshop in Fishtown and Hakim's Bookstore in West Philly.

Following the killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, protests against police brutality and systemic racism have taken place across the country, including in Philadelphia.

Joining in a protest or demonstration is just one of the many ways to show support. People also can donate to local and national organizations, sign petitions and send emails to elected officials, and become better educated on racial injustice.

If you're looking for one of the most direct ways to support the black community, however, then make an effort to shop at black-owned businesses.

Below is a list of black-owned bookstores in Philadelphia, including Harriett's Bookshop in Fishtown and Hakim's Bookstore in West Philly.

You can find titles by black authors and anti-racism books, while supporting black booksellers through your purchase.

RELATED: Controversial Frank Rizzo statue removed from Municipal Services Building | Two Philly companies create T-shirts supporting George Floyd Memorial Fund, Black Visions Collective

Harriett's Bookshop (258 E. Girard Ave.)

Named for abolitionist and political activist Harriet Tubman, Harriett's Bookshop in Fishtown is new to Philly. The indie bookstore, owned by Jeannine A. Cook, opened earlier this year. The shop states on its website that its mission is to celebrate women authors, women artists and women activists.

During the protests in Philadelphia, which began on Saturday, Harriett's posted to Instagram that the shop was handing out free copies of books about Tubman and human rights activist Malcolm X in Center City.

Currently, Harriett's is getting caught up on fulfilling orders, so expect delays when placing new orders online. During that time, those interested in showing their support for the black-owned business can still make donations through Venmo.

Uncle Bobbie's Coffee & Books (5445 Germantown Ave.)

Uncle Bobbie's Coffee and Books was founded in 2017 by Marc Lamont Hill, a North Philly native who is a Temple University professor and activist.

The black-owned bookshop's motto is "Cool People. Dope Books. Great Coffee." It sells a range of books, from young adult fiction to autobiographies to poetry.

At the moment, Uncle Bobbie's is closed due to the COVID-19 crisis and is asking for donations through a GoFundMe campaign to aid staff. To shop for books, currently customers are asked to go through to see Uncle Bobbie's suggested reads and make purchases.

Hakim's Bookstore & Gift Shop (210 S. 52nd St.)

The oldest African American bookstore in Philadelphia is Hakim's Bookstore & Gift Shop in West Philly. Dawud Hakim founded the store and his son Yvonne Blake took over after his death.

Hakim's Bookstore specializes in African American history and education. There are a wide variety of titles available, however, including children's books. Orders can be placed online.

Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse (2578 Frankford Ave.)

Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse is the first comic book store on the East Coast owned by a black woman. Ariell Johnson first came up with the idea while a student at Temple University and officially opened the comic book store in 2015.

The shop has become nationally celebrated for its focus on inclusion and diversity. Orders can be placed online while the shop is closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Black and Nobel Books (411 South St.)

Black and Nobel BooksThom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Hakim Hopkins, owner of Black and Nobel Books, at the shop's old location in 2015.

The bookshop is owned by Hakim Hopkins and sells self-help books, novels, children's books, wellness products and DVDs.

Before opening on South Street, Black and Nobel was located at Broad Street and Erie Avenue. It was easily recognizable for its large black and white signage that read, "We Ship to Prisons." In 2015, Hopkins told PhillyVoice in an interview that he estimated his shop shipped 50 or more packages daily to inmates.

Currently, products from Black and Nobel can be purchased online with curbside pickup and delivery available.

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