HARTFORD, Connecticut — The CEO of an online bookstore based in Hartford is seeing a growing interest for Black literature.
Purchases are back-ordered and books are out of stock from many distributors.
The owner of the bookstore spoke about the power of literature when talking about racism in America.
“All this information is relevant no matter what your race or ethnicity,” said The Key Bookstore supporter.
Online trends for The Key Bookstore show readers are turning to literature for help navigating conversations on race.
“’We don’t talk about race in America, but we must start if we’re going to heal this broken country.’ That’s all you gotta say. That’s literally what we’re talking about here,” said Khamani Harrison, CEO of The Key Bookstore.
Harrison searched for answers after the killing of Black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012.
The selection at her local library was scarce, so she created her own.
“A lot of these answers as to why things are the way they are, are in these books,” Jones said.
Harrison says the knowledge in books gets you started. It’s not until you have those dynamic conversations that you create meaningful change or even start a partnership.
The Cuadras family in Wethersfield, like many, bought books to learn more about race issues.
They’re helping others do the same through their lemonade stand against racism.
They’re encouraging other families to add Black literature to their collection, while promoting Black owned businesses.
“You see this time around, with the protests and things like that, you have the privileged community using their privilege on the front lines and even taking hits,” Harrison said.
Recent protests calling for an end to police brutality and systemic racism after George Floyd’s death in police custody spurred worldwide interest in the online bookstore.
“And then bam just like that, ‘hey do you ship to Japan?’” Harrison said.
For Harrison, it’s important for everyone to know the origin of racism to understand its consequence and combat its effect.