906 W Roosevelt St. Ste. 2, Phoenix, AZ. 85007
What are the 3 adjectives you would use to describe your bookstore?
Liberating, Healing, Transformative
Share a quote from a book or poem that bares your bookstore’s soul.
“Books saved my sanity, knowledge opened the locked places in me and taught me first how to survive and then how to soar.”
Gloria E. Anzaldúa
“You can destroy wood and brick, but you can’t destroy a movement.”
Angie Thomas / The Hate U Give
Why was your bookstore founded/what role does it play in the community?
Palabras was created to connect and liberate marginalized communities by providing a place to see ourselves in the stories we read and as a platform for us to have a voice in the community. It is also a safe space to share resources, experience joy, grow, and create change in the world, starting at the community level.
What makes your bookstore unique?
Palabras was first a community space before it was a bookstore. We started off as an empty building with a few books on a shelf and a vision. I didn’t have the capital to buy a large sum of books to start the store. I started off slowly buying books (while working a full-time job) and utilizing the space for community events, which let the BIPOC community develop and create what Palabras has become. Thanks to our community-building efforts, people began to take notice of the space. They supported in whatever way they could through book donations and contributing to fundraisers as the bookstore grew.
Our bookstore is unique in how we operate in solidarity with the community. We are constantly learning from the community that we work with and evolving based on their needs, looking for creative ways to meet them. We encourage each other’s liberation, healing, and growth. The connection is deep and reciprocal. We learn from each other, and everyone has something to teach, no matter our background, education, or literacy level. I am not the same person I was when this began. Palabras is sacred to me and so many others.
**Owner Rosaura Magaña was the winner of the 2020 Duende-Word BIPOC Bookseller Innovation Award.