One of the most exciting moments for me was when a new friend on Facebook spotted Bringing Up Race: How to Raise a Kind Child in a Prejudiced World on the shelves at Waterstones. Right next to Ibram X Kendi, who was just honoured by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2020. Represent! The book has also been spotted at Blackwell’s and of course is available on Amazon UK. I’m told it will be stocked by one of the UK’s leading Black owned bookshops and distributors Afrori Books (see details below). Find more quick links for where to buy Bringing Up Race at the end of this post!
Let’s be frank, Amazon sales and reviews (please leave me an Amazon review if you’ve read it!) are massively important, especially for first time authors. So I’m very happy if you’ve picked up a copy of Bringing Up Race on Amazon, whether in hardback, Kindle or audiobook. I would also be delighted if you could support one or more of the Black owned bookshops I’ve listed here. Until recently, books by and for Black readers have been thin on the market and there’s still a long way to go to level the shelves. Black and independent bookshops have been among the leading champions of promoting a more diverse and inclusive readership. And they deserve our support.
We all need stories we can relate to, from multiple perspectives, featuring voices that sound like us and also those that sound nothing like us. Whoever you are, may these listings be the start of a new chapter in your reading journey.
UK Black Owned Bookshops and Publishers
African Books Collective (ABC), PO Box 72, Oxford OX1 9EN, UK
African owned with a global reach, distributing literature, kids’ books, scholarly texts and other books from Africa.
Their goal was to give Black authors the whole store, not just a hidden away shelf in a section labelled ‘BAME’. This bookshop works with the largest book wholesaler in the UK, giving unparalleled access to millions of books by Black authors.
Ayebia Clarke Literary Agency & Publishing Ltd, 7 Syringa Walk Banbury Oxfordshire, OX16 1FR, UK
Launched by Ghanaian-born Nana Ayebia Clarke, this publisher and agency highlights new and diverse creative talent that gives voice to African and Caribbean life, culture and literature. You can order direct from their website.
Black Cultural Archives, 1 Windrush Square, Brixton, London SW2 1EF
One of the leading spaces for educating on, preserving and celebrating the Black British experience. It comprises a library, exhibition space, cafe and shop as well as a wide mix of fiction and non-fiction books.
Black Feminist Bookshop
After a successful crowdfunding campaign, the Black Feminist Bookshop project was launched in 2020 to open a ‘radical space of resistance, sisterhood and community’. Follow them on Instagram @blackfeministbookshop and sign up to their newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gjPUG1
Also known as @ThisIsBookLove on Instagram, an award-winning collective of authors, educators, creatives and families run this travelling book carnival. Their aim is to share and showcase multicultural writing for a wider audience.
Books of Africa
Specialty bookshop with a focus on Africa-oriented books which you can buy from its online store.
Cassava Republic Press UK, 9 Eri Studio C11, Mainyard Studios, 94 Wallis Rd, London E9 5LN
Born in Nigeria, the popular press launched its UK office a few years ago and continues to put out a steady stream of popular and acclaimed literature and nonfiction from the African diaspora.
Award winning independent publisher of groundbreaking adult fiction, non-fiction & YA, dedicated to ‘creating space on the bookshelf’ for more voices to be heard and read.
My Book Basket, Legacy Centre (formerly The Drum) 144 Potters Lane, Birmingham B6 4UU
As well as gifts and health items, this retailer offers diverse and inclusive books for kids and those who care for them.
New Beacon Books, 76 Stroud Green Rd, Finsbury Park, London N4 3EN
Bookshop and independent publisher established for more than 50 years. Founded by John La Rose and his partner Sarah White in 1966, New Beacon Books champions non-fiction, literature, history and children’s books from Africa as well as Britain, Asia, Europe, South America, the Caribbean and the US.
No Ordinary BookShop
Online outlet on a mission to build the community one book at a time. They sell books by and about Black, mixed and dual heritage children (and adults books soon too).
Peepal Tree Press
Based in Leeds, Peepal Tree Press publishes the “best in Caribbean and Black British writing”. It’s also home to the Caribbean Modern Classics series.
Pempamsie, Pempamsie, 102 Brixton Hill, London SW2 1AH
A Brixton-based alternative and holistic health shop that also stocks a good range of books from Africa and the diaspora.
Pepukayi Books, Ma’at Centre, 366a High Rd, Tottenham, London N17 9HT
Head to this Tottenham staple and you’ll find a solid mix of Black interest books on topics such as spirituality, history and parenting. Their Instagram invites you to @PeppaYourMind
Black and Multicultural Bookshops and Publishers for Kids
Black Star Books
UK-based, Black owned children’s book store operating online. They are passionate about bringing culturally diverse literature to kids and families of all backgrounds.
This bookshop and publishing company has a mission to close the national skills gap and promote diversity through its career-themed picture books. Founded by brother and sister duo Kerrine Bryan and Jason Bryan.
Casey Elisha Books
Small indie outlet launched by Casey Elisha, the successfully self-published author of the picture book Love Thy Fro.
Imagine Me Stories
A monthly subscription box filled with childrens’ books starring Black characters and featuring Black history and African-centred activities. Aimed at ages 0-12.
Groundbreaking children’s publisher making ‘books for every kid’ starting with who is behind the scenes.
Publishing underrepresented voices in children’s fiction because all kids deserve to see themselves in a good book.
Little Drum Publishing
Spreading positivity through little minds, this lovely publisher and shop offers fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults.
Mirror Me Write
New on the scene in 2020, the indie bookseller caters to parents looking for more relatable and representative content for their kids. Huge focus on ‘own voices and marginalised communities.
Round Table Books, 97 Granville Arcade, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London SW9 8PS
Originally a Brixton pop-up, their shop was spawned from local enthusiasm for their mission to serve more children with richer, more diverse narratives.
Tamarind Books Ltd, 61–63 Uxbridge Road, London W5 5SA
Since 1987, Tamarind Books (a Penguin Random House imprint) has been at the forefront of pushing out more inclusive and diverse books for young readers. Now part of the Puffin and Ladybird family.
UK Feminist, Radical and Alternative Bookshops
The Feminist Bookshop, 48 Upper North Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 3FH
Head to Brighton for this gorgeous looking community bookshop, that was launched through a crowdfunding campaign.
Five Leaves Bookshop, 14a Long Row, Nottingham NG1 2DH
Search for hidden treasures to unlock your imagination at Nottingham’s indie, feminist and radical book-lovers’ hub.
Radical, feminist and alternative books are the name of the game at this King’s Cross bookshop, steady running since 1945.
Queer-owned and woman led independent community bookshop. Unapologetically activist, intersectional, feminist, antiracist, lgbtq+ community space, championing voices from the margins.
Persephone Books, 59 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London WC1N 3NB
A wonderful space for women writers and readers, including books you’ve never heard about. The Holborn publisher and bookseller stocks a carefully curated selection of (mostly) mid-century female authors.
The Second Shelf, The Second Shelf, 14 Smith’s Court, London, UK W1D 7DW
Iconic shop for rare books by female and non-binary writers in the heart of Soho. Browse for antiquarian, neglected, modern first editions and rediscovered works.
This indie bookshop and cafe in Sevenoaks, Kent has a vibrant selection of books to support Black Lives Matter.
ISLINGTON & LOCAL BOOKSHOPS
Ink 84, 84 Highbury Park, N5 2XE
Just a few steps from the cosy Highbury Barn pub, this independent bookstore has more than 400k titles on stock and hosts a number of events through the year (currently on hold).
Stoke Newington Bookshop, 159 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 0NY
Award-winning independent bookshop since 1987, they also have a popular toy and gifts shop on the same street.
Word on the Water: The London Book Barge, Regent’s Canal Towpath, Kings Cross, London N1C 4LW
The charming book barge on Regent’s Canal is a wonderful spot to browse for something new, classic or quirky to read. They host author events and jazz from the boat too. Order online and they can ship anywhere if you stump for postage and packaging.
US Black Owned Bookshops and Publishers
If you are in the US, check out this comprehensive list of Black American bookstores from the AALBC (African American Literature Book Club) that is searchable by name, state or ownership.
Barefoot Books: a vibrant and diverse publisher and community focused on sharing books that inspire children to be compassionate, creative and curious.
We Need Diverse Books: A grassroots organisation that strives to create a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book.
Follow @diverse_kids_books on Instagram for regular tips and recommendations on inclusive and multicultural books for young readers.
WHERE TO BUY THE BOOK
Bringing Up Race is available in all good bookstores and online, throughout the UK and Commonwealth.
Buy at Amazon UK
Buy at Waterstones
Buy at Word on the Water – PreOrder (signed copies) for delivery to North America and Europe
Buy at Roving Heights Bookstore – Preorder for Nigeria (available from Oct 8)