Bookstore Run by and Catered to People of Color to Open in DC

April 18, 2017

An artist paiting the image of a Latina woman reading against a red background and a yellow sun.

Angela Marie Spring, a Latinx New Mexico–native and the daughter of Panamanian immigrants, has decided to found a DC bookstore “owned, operated, and managed by a majority of people of color,” Publishers Weekly reports.

Duende District will be a bookstore that consciously embraces and builds interactive partnerships with DC’s minority communities, while also inviting everyone to enjoy an inviting, high-quality bookstore experience,” Spring wrote on the Kickstarter page she created to fund a pop-up version of the bookstore for the 2017 Artomatic festival. As of April 17, Spring has raised over $5,200 out of $9,000.

It isn’t Spring’s first rodeo. For sixteen years, she managed the iconic Politics and Prose bookstore in DC as well as WORD in Jersey City and Brooklyn before beginning Duende District to address the area’s “deep need for an authentic bookstore space build from the ground up by bookstore professionals who are people of color.”

“For five years, almost every other Latino I saw was cleaning somebody’s house or yard, taking care of someone’s baby or cooking someone’s meal,” Spring says in her Kickstarter video. She added that, as the floor manager at Politics and Prose, she once found herself in “an event-planning meeting with the store’s senior staff for an event on the topic of ‘Diversity’” where “she was the only person of color in the room.”

Earlier this year, Spring and her colleague Hannah Oliver Depp, made prepared remarks at the American Booksellers Association’s Town Hall, where she challenged ABA leadership, staff, and store owners to “have diversity sensitivity trainings...look at your management, especially your senior managers, and ask yourself if it’s truly representative in ALL areas. Educate yourself on what it means to have privilege.”

Duende District plans to “partner with local nonprofits to employ high school students of color,” Publishers Weekly reports.

Watch Spring’s video on her Kickstarter page.


Image Credit: Angela Marie Spring.

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