Why was your bookstore founded/what role does it play in the community?
As a mother of two Black children, I have always sought to create spaces where they can show up authentically and be celebrated. Exposing them to Black authored literature has been one of the most effective ways of doing that. As the kids developed their own love for reading, they have come to use books to explore the vast diversity of their worlds and to find affirmation and solace. However, there did not exist a local space for them to explore a well-curated offering of Black stories
Cue in Kindred Stories… We first launched as a weekly pop-up but became fast aware of our community’s longing for a physical store prioritizing their stories – kids and adults alike. So we partnered with a beautiful arts non-profit Project Row Houses to host a long-term pop-up on their campus. The opportunity has allowed us to learn and grow our business while prioritizing activities that speak to our mission, like creating high-quality author events and finding endless engaging ways to engage with our community.
What are the 3 adjectives you would use to describe your bookstore?
Affirming, inspiring, and lit.
Share a quote from a book or poem that bares your bookstore’s soul:
“I didn’t want to speak for black people. I wanted to speak to, and to be among them…it’s us. So, the first thing I had to do was to eliminate the white gaze. Jimmy Baldwin used to talk about the little white man that sits on your shoulder and checks out everything you do and say. So I wanted to knock him off, and you’re free.” -Toni Morrison