Thursday, January 24, 2008

African American Bookstore Karibu Books Closes

Yesterday, I received the news that Karibu Books, the nation's largest black-owned bookstore chain, announced that it would be closing its doors. Shock was the first emotion to come to mind, followed by a slight twinge of anger, then sadness. Karibu closing? This store has been a huge inspiration for us here at Azizi Books. In an environment where independent bookstores are shutting their doors faster than ever, knowing that Karibu books was alive, kicking, and achieving success was a message to us that we could do it too. We looked up to Karibu. This is truly a sad event. Owners say that financial reasons were not the cause of closing.

Washington Post Article About Karibu Books Closing

Come on people, we need these businesses! Our communities need these stores. There are so many great books for us our there, for children and adults alike, that need African American bookstores around to carry them. You can't find them in the large chain stores or online retailers. So what happens without the Black bookstore? We lose part of our voice. Of course there are still many of African American writers who will have no problem getting exposure, but what about the other voices? They may not be as loud, but they still have something important to say.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

2008 Essence Literary Awards

Essence Magazine, which helped launch the writing careers of such best-selling authors as Terry McMillan, Gloria Naylor and Bebe Moore Campbell, is now holding their first ever Essence Literary Awards. The Essence Literary Awards will honor the best books of 2007.

Categories include best in fiction, nonfiction, memoir, inspiration, current affairs, photography, children's books, poetry, and storyteller of the year.

Essence is asking for your participation to by casting your vote for storyteller of the year. Finalist in this category are:

L.A. Banks
Eric Jerome Dickey
Tananarive Due

Trisha R. Thomas

Lori Bryant-Woolridge

Vote for your favorite here

The winner will be revealed in February.

View finalists in other categories

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Azizi Books Gives Black Authors Their Due

On December 26, 2007 Azizi Books was featured in the Business section of the Southtown Star.

What Kevin said about the article. . .
"First, some corrections. Free publicity is nice, but they don’t always get things right (for example, misspelling Octavia Butler’s name). My daughter, Maia, and I are co-owners in this venture, after she joined me in an existing internet book business, ... She manages the bookstore, and I manage the internet operation and purchasing."

Phew. After reading the article myself, I'm glad he added that last part in!

From the article
"For those interested in reading books by African-American authors, Azizi Books in Matteson stocks a full supply of fiction and nonfiction books by black authors."

Read more.,azizi26.article