Support London's first Black feminist bookshop: a radical space of resistance, sisterhood and community.
Hi I’m Dee Creative; I am an intersectional Black feminist, multidisciplinary creative, and a passionate advocate for racial justice and gender equality; and my mission is to develop creative approaches to resistance that uplift Black women.
I have started this crowdfunder because it has been my lifelong goal to open a Black feminist bookshop, and over the last year I have begun setting the wheels in motion to turn this dream into a reality: to create a safe and welcoming space where Black women can explore and discuss literary works that centre and reflect the Black female experience. While my main audience will be Black women, I believe that everybody would benefit from engaging with Black feminist texts, because as well as offering a radical perspective on resistance, resilience and perseverance, they also offer an opportunity to become better informed about race, gender and inclusion.
What will a Black feminist bookshop look like? The bookshop will function as a store and an event space, as well as having a selection of free books available for those who just want to sit and read. Visitors will have access to new and second-hand Black feminist and QTIPOC literature, and books that explore identity, culture and belonging that are written by women of colour. It will also stock goods produced by organisations, charities and community groups that are led by, represent, and/or benefit Black women. The aim is to open the bookshop in 2020.
So what's happening between now and then? Before a permanent location is set up, I am going to run the bookshop as a travelling pop-up stall and this is what this crowdfunder is for. The pop-up will launch early 2019 and will appear at Black feminist and QTIPOC events, and in community spaces that understand the challenges that Black women face.
Like the bookshop, the pop-up will stock a mixture of new and second-hand books. For the second-hand books, I have already arranged a donation drop-off point in Central London.
Where you come in: Supporting the crowdfunder is an excellent way to action allyship and practical solidarity for those who have the resources. I also welcome support from within my community - especially those who believe in what I am trying to create.
The money for this crowdfunder will cover the costs of setting up and running the pop-up.
Any extra money raised over the £5,000 will go towards finding and setting up a permanent home for the bookshop. As this is not due to happen until 2020, the exact costs for this are still unknown.
Why is this so important? Black-owned bookshops have a long history of providing access to a diverse understanding of social, cultural and political thinking; of unapologetically and intentionally carving out space for marginalised voices; of building community from a place of resistance. This is what a Black feminist bookshop will do. It will centre the stories of Black women and girls, and bring QTIPOC and diverse narratives - that have been under-told and under-represented - to the forefront. It will follow in the footsteps of the radical Black bookshops and publishers that came before it, and showed us that out of the ashes of struggle, a place of political and social change can rise.
Against a backdrop of oppression, marginalisation and discrimination, Black women experience mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression at a higher rate than any other ethnic group. The Black feminist bookshop will not only be a safe and welcoming radical space of resistance, sisterhood and community for Black women but will also be a place for everyone who supports the wellbeing of Black women and who is committed to transformative social change - one book at a time.
To make London's first Black feminist bookshop a reality is a huge challenge but if everyone who saw this crowdfunder donated and/or shared the campaign, I believe it can happen. Please give what you can. No donation is too small to finance the first stage of the bookshop: the pop-up. From £3 to £1,000, every penny counts and gets me closer to the target goal.
Other ways to support the bookshop in addition to donating:
Book donations - drop off your pre-loved books to Housmans Radical Booksellers, Kings Cross and Blackwell's Bookshop, Holborn. Make sure to say that your books are for the Black feminist bookshop. If you are a venue, business or community space that would like to become a book donation drop off point, send an email to this address to discuss further: email@example.com
Books to donate - Black feminist books (and books written by Black women in general), books by women of colour, books written by QTIPOC (queer, trans and intersex people of colour) - this includes books written by LGBT+ people of colour that would suit a feminist bookshop, books written for young Black women and girls (11 - 21 years), books written for Black children - all genders - (11 years and under). If you have a book that you think would be suitable for the bookshop and it is not covered in the aforementioned list, send an email to this address with the title, author, isbn number and picture of the book and I will get back to you to let you know if it's suitable for the shop: firstname.lastname@example.org
Event organisers - are you an event organiser or do you have a venue and want the travelling pop-up bookshop or me to attend? That’s great! Send an email to this address to discuss further: email@example.com
Marketing and promotion - please share this campaign and talk about it with as many people as you can. In a city as big and diverse as London a Black feminist bookshop is long overdue.
Fundraising - do you have a gift for you want to donate? Can you help the pop-up reach its £5000 goal? Send an email to this address to discuss further: firstname.lastname@example.org