Books

Canadian publisher creates Google map charting Black-owned bookstores across North America

Among the 66 stores currently listed, only four are in Canada.

4 Canadian stores are on the map, in Brampton, Ont., Toronto and Montreal

Don Gorman's Google Map shows more than 60 Black-owned and Black-focused bookstores in North America. (Google Maps)

When bookstores across the country closed their doors in March due to COVID-19, West Coast-based Rocky Mountain Books publisher Don Gorman created a Google Map highlighting all the independent booksellers offering delivery and curbside pick-up.

Now, Gorman has set out to plot Black-owned and Black-focused bookstores across North America in a new map.

"Book lovers who support Black Lives Matter are encouraged to shop at Black-owned and Black-focused bookstores now and in the future," wrote Gorman.

"There are numerous lists online which offer fantastic suggestions and, with this map, the hope is that we can make it even easier for everyone to show solidarity against police violence, racism and bigotry."

The map is an ongoing project. Among the 66 stores currently listed, only four are in Canada.

Sean Liburd's Knowledge Bookstore, in Brampton, Ont., which specializes in African, Caribbean, African Canadian and African American books, is one of them.

Also featured are Toronto's A Different Booklist, owned by Itah Sadu and Miguel San Vincente, that stocks multicultural books with a focus on works from the African Caribbean diaspora and the Global South, and Afrocentric bookstore Nile Valley Books, owned by Nosakhare Ibraheem and located in the city's east end.

This month, in honour of Black History Month - a number of Canadians are receiving a special award. The African Canadian Achievement Awards recognize members of the community who have made a difference. And in the world of storytelling - there is no one quite like Itah Sadu. 4:03

Montréal-Nord's Librairie Racines, founded in 2017 by Gabriella Kinté, rounds out the current list of Canadian offerings.

According to the map, Gorman drew inspiration from similar lists recently published by Refinery29 and Publishers Weekly.

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