29. Why Black Books Matter with Ramunda and Derrick Young

It’s the 90’s—Ramunda was at Langston University in Oklahoma and Derrick was 1,300 miles away at Bowie State University in Prince George’s County, Maryland. While separated by geography, Ramunda and Derrick underwent similar transformations when they were introduced to Assata Shakur’s autobiography and Huey Newton’s autobiography, Revolutionary Suicide. Assata and Revolutionary Suicide, respectively, for Ramunda and Derrick, helped build their lifetime commitment to Black people and Black books. Their bookstore, MahoganyBooks, was founded in 2007 to meet the literary needs of readers nationwide in search of books written for, by, or about people of the African Diaspora. Ten years later, they opened their now world-famous physical location in Washington D.C. In this episode, we talk about the importance of Black history and dive into some of the formative moments of Black people’s relationship to literacy here in America. We even cover how owning a bookstore is like being a cultural anthropologist and some current trends in publishing. This is the perfect companion podcast for last week’s episode with Freddie Taylor and another wonderful way to celebrate Black History Month. We know you’ll love this episode.

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