Black-Owned Bookstores: Anchors of the Black Power Movement


Author/Creator ORCID





Citation of Original Publication

Davis, J. C. (2017). Black-Owned Bookstores: Anchors of the Black Power Movement. AAIHS, 1-4.



In the summer of 1968, veteran members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) opened a shop in Washington, D.C., the Drum and Spear Bookstore, that specialized in the writings of people of African descent. In addition to its brick-and-mortar store, Drum and Spear ran a brisk mail-order distribution business for other black booksellers and, by 1969, even launched its own publishing company headquartered in Washington and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Drum and Spear was commercially ambitious, yet it was operated by a nonprofit organization, Afro-American Resources, Inc. “We don’t define profit in terms of money,” said SNCC activist and store cofounder Charlie Cobb. “The profit is the patronage of the community, which allows the store to self-support.”