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From Head Shops to Whole FoodsThe Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs$
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Joshua Clark Davis

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780231171588

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231171588.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Liberation Through Literacy

Liberation Through Literacy

African American Bookstores, Black Power, and the Mainstreaming of Black Books

(p.35) 2 Liberation Through Literacy
From Head Shops to Whole Foods

Joshua Clark Davis

Columbia University Press

Chapter two examines Black-Power activists who founded scores of bookstores throughout the country in the 1960s and ‘70s, hoping to prompt both a “revolution of the mind” and a transformation of business culture in black communities. These activists hailed bookstores as information centers where African American community members could meet to learn about and agitate for radical movements for racial equality and black progress. African American booksellers’ sought to further the work of the Black Power movement by affirming racial pride, celebrating black history and identity, and promoting connections to and interest in Africa. As Black Power declined over the course of the 1970s, however, black bookstores were compelled to deal in an ever broader range of black-authored written works, many of them less political in nature.

Keywords:   Black bookstores, Black Power, black nationalism, black business, pan-Africanism, civil rights

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