New Sussex online bookshop to specialise in books by black authors

An independently owned online bookshop that specialises in books by black authors has been set up in Brighton.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 8:00 am
Carolynn Bain
Carolynn Bain

Carolynn Bain is behind the project: “The death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement around the world have changed the landscape. These events have highlighted the lack of diversity in the curriculum, school libraries, training, book clubs and many other areas. Many organisations and individuals are now looking at their bookshelves and considering how to make them more diverse.

“The city of Brighton is still a difficult place to live as a black woman with racial incidents and micro-aggressions still a part of everyday life. Education is needed. Changing the way people read is fundamental to affecting their outlook and reading habits for life, and it is through reading that we can have the greatest impact on attitudes to racism in the future.

“Afrori books is an independently owned online bookshop that specialises in books by black authors.

“Afrori books exists for two reasons:

“One: To give black authors a platform. Black authors do not get the same publicity and shelf space as their white counterparts. This reduces sales and becomes the reason quoted for the lack of publicity. A frustrating catch 22.

“Two: To create a bookshop for those wishing to read books by black authors. We know how difficult it can be to source books by black authors in bookshops and libraries. Many offer a small BME selection, that does not show the large variety of genres that black authors cover.”

Brighton resident Carolynn said she had for years been frustrated by how difficult it was to find books that had characters that represented her family’s diversity and culture.

“The more I looked into it the more I realised that these books existed, but they were very well hidden.

“It would take me hours to buy a book for my children or nephews, and when I did find the shelf, it always seemed to stock the same books and authors. I knew there had to be more”

Carolynn’s contacts as an event manager meant she was able to secure a deal with the largest book wholesaler in the UK and begin the hard work of opening a bookshop for books by black authors.

You can find the store at .www.afroribooks.com