Philadelphia Black-Owned Bookstores You Can Shop at Now
Support black-owned businesses while buying educational and informative books.
Looking for ways to support Philly black-owned businesses? Looking for ways to educate yourself?
You can do both by shopping at these Philadelphia bookstores.
5445 Germantown Avenue
Uncle Bobbie’s was founded by activist and Temple University professor, Marc Lamont Hill in 2017. They sell a wide variety of light and heavy reading, apparel, merchandise, food and drinks. The bookstore sells selections from fiction, queer and race studies, cookbooks, and children’s books while the cafe offers sandwiches, vegan snacks, and beverages. You can shop for books and merchandise online here and donate to their GoFundMe here.
2578 Frankford Avenue
One of the most celebrated comic book shops in the U.S., Amalgam was founded by Ariell Johnson, and opened in 2015. The store sells a wide variety of geek goods: apparel, toys, games, books, and comics, many of which focus on black characters. The coffeehouse section of the store offers a menu of baked goods and Philly Fair Trade coffee and espresso. You can shop the store online here.
258 E Girard Avenue
Named after abolitionist and activist Harriet Tubman, Harriett’s Bookshop, opened by Jeannine Cook earlier this year, carries a collection of books celebrating women authors, artists and activists, including classics from Toni Morrison and newer bestsellers like Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys. Harriett’s also offers their merchandise, from sweaters with names of famed black authors to totes with the store’s logo. You can shop the collection online here, and you can shop to support the store’s Essentials for Essentials program — which provides books to those working in the emergency room in Philadelphia hospitals — here.
210 S 52nd Street
For over 59 years, Hakim’s Bookstore & Gift Shop has offered 17 categories of literature from children’s books to philosophy and psychology specializing in African-American history and education. The store is owned by Yvonne Blake, who has run it since the death of her father, Dawud Hakim, in 1997. As the oldest African-American bookstore in Philadelphia, there is no shortage of history within the pages of the books and biographies and in the store itself. They have online shipping available, and you can order here.
317 West Main Street #3, Lansdale
The Black Reserve Bookstore, owned by Anwar Muhammad and located in Lansdale, sells a wide variety of merchandise not limited to literature but also clothing, art, jewelry, incense and more. To order and find out about their products, contact the store by phone (267-221-3090), Facebook, or email to purchase books or a gift certificate.
411 South Street
Black and Nobel, owned by Hakim Hopkins, offers a range of book genres that includes education, children’s books, and novels. At the store on South Street, there are plenty of products that aren’t literature, such as educational DVDs. They also sell products for health and wellness that include tea, sea moss, and toothpaste, as well as products for skin and hair, such as soaps, scrubs and oils. Products are available to purchase online, and you can shop for books here.
23 Maplewood Mall
Owned by Lynn Washington, this bookstore sells multi-cultural and Afrocentric books for children, as well as “just enough for teens and adults.” The homepage of the website quotes Kathleen T. Horning, writing, “If we want to see change, if we want to see more diversity in literature, we have to buy the books.” You can currently shop the featured book selection on the website here.