March 29, 2022

Black Bookstores & Bookish Friends

Black Bookstores & Bookish Friends

This past weekend I got to meet some of my Instagram friends when author D.L. White, who has been on Between the Reads twice, flew in from Atlanta to celebrate her birthday weekend. 

It began with a trip to DC and a quick stop at the home of Frederick Douglass. Unfortunately, it was close for renovations, but this was his house sitting high on the hill behind the trees.  You can't see it too well, and we couldn't get any closer because the gate was locked, but this was his home. Well, one of them. This really moved me for so many reasons that I can't put it into words.

A short seven miles away in National Harbor is the home of Mahogany Book's second location. 

That's me and D.L. and I'm sporting my 'Read Black, Read Better' shirt, because that's what I do...and we were visiting two Black-owned bookstores that day.

I got to meet one of the owners of Mahogany Books, y'all!  The store was so nice inside I forgot to take pictures of the whole thing, but here is a picture of one of the walls with the t-shirts, which of course you know I bought one! They have a WIDE variety of books to choose from. I had a hard time narrowing down what books I wanted! But the vibe was crazy cool and Buju Banton, one of my favorite Reggae artists, was playing so I drifted around the store swaying to the rhythm and buying books!



After we filled our bags with books and goodies from Mahogany, we hopped in the car and headed for Richmond, stopping along the way to pick up Karen, one of D.L.'s good friends. Almost immediately she and my hubby began talking politics which made for an interesting ride! 

We arrived about two and half hours later at The RVA Book Bar. It was COLD outside, y'all. So hubby snapped this pic real quick-like and then we headed inside. 

It may have been cold outside but the atmosphere in The Book Bar was warm and inviting. We got to meet the owner, Krystle, and of course, I took a pic with her because she's a fellow Jersey girl!

Now the cool thing about the RVA Book Bar,  you can do wine tastings and buy wine by the bottle. I've even heard that she'll be shipping wine, but only locally within Virginia. Below is one section of the store with all kinds of goodies -- all made by Black-owned businesses! I bought these banana pudding cookies that were AMAZING!!

Here's a pic of the rest of the store. You can sample wine and read books to your heart's content!

Let's talk about her record wall for a minute. She had some Whitney Houston playing while we were browsing. But she had all the good music, and not just on the wall but in those crates. Imagine sampling wine while you browse books AND there's good music playing. Just take all my money!

After we hung out here and bought more books and goodies, we met up with another friend from Instagram, Demetrius of Black Men Read Now. We drove all over Richmond trying to find a place to eat and finally settled on Longhorn. We had a great conversation and great food. Hubby was kind enough to snap a pic of Karen Demetrius, me, and D.L. 

Books, friends, and food. It was a great day!