Black representation in mainstream literature has long been hard to come by. It is beneficial – enriching, even – for people of all backgrounds to see the black community reflected in complex fictional protagonists and access true narratives of past and present black experiences. So, this Black History Month, explore the titles sold by this list of black-owned booksellers, who all strive to fill in the gaps in mainstream representation. If you’re looking to educate yourself on the African diaspora, black culture, history, politics and identity, look no further than these great Black British bookstores.
A children bookshop that began life as a pop-up but expanded after receiving a brilliant response. Round Table Books specialises in inclusive titles for all ages, but particularly those to inspire, empower and educate little ones.
First opening back in 1966, New Beacon Books was the UK’s first black publisher and specialist bookstore. As one of the key places in London where you can find African and Caribbean literature, changes to the book industry nearly saw them close forever in 2016, but thankfully with new management and the help of social media, they’ve been able thrive for longer.
An award-winning independent publisher of adult fiction, non-fiction and young adult titles by diverse authors. In 2019 Jacaranda announced their initiative TwentyIn2020, which will see 20 Black British writers’ works published this year.
An online bookstore striving to educate both young children and adults on black history and culture, as well as nurture children’s personal, emotional and social wellbeing through books with diverse representation.
Pepukayi Books – Ma’at Centre, 366a High Road, Tottenham, London, N17 9HT
An African-centred bookshop spanning over 5000 works on black history, art, cultures and politics. Owner, Elder Pepukayi, is a Pan-Africanist who has long been committed to raising aware of the African liberation struggle in the UK.
A Kent-based bookstore with a broad range of well-known authors’ works. In support the Black Lives Matter movement, they’ve compiled this list of children’s books from talented black writers, which are available to buy in their shop.
Not quite a bookstore but a library, the Black Cultural Archives’ Reading Room is dedicated to over 8000 books chronicling the experiences of the African diaspora. Here you can also find the library of the racial equality thinktank Runnymede Trust.