What started as a simple letter to a publisher requesting books, has manifested into an organization that delivers non-fiction and fiction book packages to incarcerated individuals. Books Through Bars will be turning 25 in 2015, but we are honoring them today for their inspiring work. The process of delivering the books to people engages the community, and appeals to an under-recognized desire to read (learn). Although the focus of this organization is not Black people particularly – it appeals to a diverse population – we understand that fiction (To Kill a Mocking Bird, A Lesson Before Dying, Monster) and non-fiction (The New Jim Crow) all show how the criminal justice system has disadvantaged many people of color. This organization does not remedy any political injustices, but it draws attention to the human needs of the persons who have been sentenced time in jail and prison.
Read more about their work at this link: http://booksthroughbars.org/about/history/
The Brown Bookshelf is an amazing blog with awesome educators, artists, and illustrators as contributors. I featured them yesterday on the Facebook page because of their year-long dedication to multicultural content. Sometimes when I research information about authors or book fairs, a post from one of their contributors appears. They have the inspiring “28 Days Later” campaign in order to highlight authors and illustrators at different points in the spectrum of their career. You should definitely view their blog for some great content, and introduction to up-and-coming youth publications.
“A family owned business, Marcus Books is more than just a book store. It is a gathering place; it is a center for Black culture, but more importantly, Marcus Books is a community.”
We’re honoring the first Black Independent Book Store in the Nation today. Marcus Books was opened in the Fillmore district of San Francisco. Noted by some as the “Harlem of the West,” this place, and the bookstore which is situated in it has a rich history of jazz and black culture.
Unfortunately, 54 years after it was opened, there is a chance the owners might lose the Bop City building in which it’s San Francisco location is housed. Please consider pledging money to help the wonderful store sustain it’s business, amidst the changes which are occuring around it. More information about the fundraising efforts are on the link here.