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Black Owned Bookstores: The #Unhidden Sources Of Our Story


AALBC.com is the oldest, largest, and most frequently visited web site dedicated to books by, or about, people of African descent. Started in 1997, AALBC.com is a widely recognized source of information about Black authors.

 

 

1 – Pyramid Art Books & Custom Framing
1001 Wright Avenue, Suite C
Little Rock, AR 72206
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 501-372-5824
Email: pyramidartbookscustomframing@gmail.com
Opened in: 1988

2 – Nubian Nook
Court Street Hamilton
Bermuda, BM
Owner/Proprietor: Rosheena Beek
Phone: 1 441-516-8258
Email: mommysays@yahoo.com
Opened in: 2017

3 – Ethnic Notions Bookstore
433 Solano Dr
Benicia, CA 94510
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 707-334-3060
Email:
Opened in: 2000

4 – Smiley’s Bookstore
940 East Dominguez Suite K
Carson, CA 90746
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: (310) 324-8444
Email: info@SmileysBooks.org
Opened in: 1993

5 – Hanna’s Ethnic Bookseller
240 Blue Mountain Way
Claremont, CA 91711
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 909-626-5051
Email:
Opened in: 2000

6 – Zahra’s Books and Things
900 North La Brea Ave
Inglewood, CA 90302
Owner/Proprietor: Renee Mendscole
Phone: 310-330-1300
Email:
Opened in: 2000

7 – Shades of Afrika Bookstore
1001 E 4th St.
Long Beach , CA 90802
Owner/Proprietor: Sista Renee Quarles
Phone: (562) 436-2210
Email:
Opened in: 1994

8 – Eso Won Bookstore
4327 Degnan Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90008
Owner/Proprietor: James Fugate and Thomas Hamilton
Phone: (323) 290-1048
Email: jmfugate@msn.com
Opened in: 1990

9 – Zambezi Bazaar
3347 W 43rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90008
Owner/Proprietor: Jackie Ryan
Phone: (323) 299-6383
Email:
Opened in: 1990

10 – Ashay by the Bay
1411 Webster Street
Oakland, CA 94612
Owner/Proprietor: Deborah Day
Phone: 1-844-543-7732
Email: ashaybythebayceo@gmail.com
Opened in: 2017

11 – Marcus Books (Oakland)
3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Oakland, CA 94609
Owner/Proprietor: Johnson Family
Phone: (510) 652-2344
Email: info@marcusbooksoakland.com
Opened in: 1960

12 – Carol’s Books
1913 Del Paso Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95815
Owner/Proprietor: Carol
Phone: (916) 646-6525
Email:
Opened in: 2017

13 – Underground Books
2814 35th Street
Sacramento, CA 95817
Owner/Proprietor: Georgia West “Mother Rose”
Phone: 916-737-3333
Email: gwest@underground-books.com
Opened in: 2002

14 – Marcus Books (San Francisco)
762 Fulton St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Owner/Proprietor: Karen and Tamiko Johnson
Phone:
Email:
Opened in: 2017

15 – Black Books Galore, Inc.
65 High Ridge Rd., #407
Stamford, CT 06905
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone:
Email:
Opened in: 1992

16 – DC Bookdiva’s Mobile Bookstore
Various Locations in DC
Washington, DC
Owner/Proprietor: T. Short
Phone:
Email: dcbookdiva@yahoo.com
Opened in: 0000

17 – MahoganyBooks
1231 Good Hope Rd SE
Washington, DC 20020
Owner/Proprietor: Derrick and Ramunda Young
Phone: 703-730-3873
Email: customerservice@mahoganybooks.com
Opened in: 2017

18 – Sankofa Video Books & Cafe
2714 Georgia Ave.,NW
Washington, DC 20001
Owner/Proprietor: Shirikiana Gerima
Phone: 202-234-4755
Email: sankofa@gmail.com
Opened in: 1982

19 – The Children Of The Sun
2802 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 202-299-0279
Email:
Opened in: 0000

20 – MeJah Books & Crafts
Holly Oak Plaza, 2099A Philadelphia Pike
Claymont, DE 19703
Owner/Proprietor: Ms. Emlyn Q. DeGannes
Phone: 302-793-3424
Email: mejahinc@yahoo.com
Opened in: 2000

21 – Pyramid Books
544-2 Gateway Blvd.
Boynton Beach, FL 33435
Owner/Proprietor: Akbar, Denise & Shaka
Phone: 561-731-4422
Email: pyramidbks@aol.com
Opened in: 1993

22 – Dare Books
245 N. U.S. Highway 17-92
Longwood, FL 32750
Owner/Proprietor: Desmond A. Reid
Phone: 407-673-3273
Email: DesmondR@darebooks.com
Opened in: 1982

23 – The Gathering Awareness and Book Center
314 N Devillers St
Pensacola, FL 32501
Owner/Proprietor: Georgia Blackmon
Phone: (850) 438-4882
Email: awarenessg@thegathering.gccoxmail.com
Opened in: 1989

24 – Cultured Books
22nd St. South
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
Owner/Proprietor: Lorielle J. Hollaway
Phone: (727) 328-4822
Email: stpetereads@culturedbooks.com
Opened in: 2017

25 – Best Books Rich Treasures
1501 E. 9th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
Owner/Proprietor: Skip Richardson and Gigi Best-Richardson
Phone: 813-944-2112
Email:
Opened in: 1997

26 – Medu Bookstore, Greenbriar Mall
2841 Greenbriar Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30331
Owner/Proprietor: Nia Damali
Phone: 404-346-3263
Email: nia@medubooks.com
Opened in: 1989

27 – Sisters Bookshop
209 Edgewood Ave S.E.
Atlanta, GA 30303
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: (404) 585-6243
Email: svbbooks@yahoo.com
Opened in: 0000

28 – The Shrine of the Black Madonna
946 Ralph D. Abernathy Blvd SW
Atlanta, GA 30310
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 404-549-8676
Email: buyer@shrinebookstore.com
Opened in: 1970

29 – Book Boutique
2929 Turner Hill Rd
Lithonia, GA 30038
Owner/Proprietor: Rodney Daniel and Monique Hall
Phone: 404-563-4918
Email: bookboutiqueatl@gmail.com
Opened in: 2018

30 – NuBian Books
1540 Southlak Pkwy, Ste 7A
Morrow, GA 30260
Owner/Proprietor: Marcus Williams.
Phone: 678-422-6120
Email: marcus3x@yahoo.com
Opened in: 1999

31 – Lushena Bookstore
607 Country Club Drive, Unit E
Bensenville, IL 60106
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 630-238-8708
Email: lushenabooks@gmail.com
Opened in: 0000

32 – Da Book Joint
2311 E. 71 St
Chicago, IL
Owner/Proprietor: Verlean Singletary
Phone: 773-655-3146
Email: verlean@dabookjoint.com
Opened in: 2007

33 – Frontline Bookstore
5206 S Harper Ave
Chicago, IL 60615
Owner/Proprietor: Sekou
Phone: (773) 288-7718
Email:
Opened in: 1987

34 – The Underground Bookstore
1727 E. 87th Street
Chicago, IL 60617
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 773-768-8869
Email: TheUndergroundBookstore@gmail.com
Opened in: 1992

35 – Black Expression Book Source
9500 5 Western Ave
Evergreen Park, IL 60805
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 708-424-4338
Email:
Opened in: 2000

36 – Afriware Books, Co
1701 S. 1st Ave., Suite 503
Maywood, IL 60153
Owner/Proprietor: Nzingha Nommo
Phone: 708-223-8081
Email: afriwarebooks@afriwarebooks.com
Opened in: 1993

37 – Bookophilia
92 Hope Road
Kingston, JA
Owner/Proprietor: David Thomas
Phone: 1 876-978-5248
Email: info@bookophilia.com
Opened in: 2008

38 – The Wild Fig Books
726 N. Limestone
Lexington, KY 40508
Owner/Proprietor: Ronald Davis & Crystal Wilkinson
Phone: 859-381-8133
Email: wildfigbooks@gmail.com
Opened in: 2011

39 – Between the Lines Bookstore
4242 Government Street Suite #113
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Owner/Proprietor: Kim Knight
Phone: (225) 389-6392
Email: betweenthelinebooks@icloud.com
Opened in: 2014

40 – SanKofa With Me
7720 Linwood
Caddo, LA 71106
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 318-560-1136
Email: sankofawithme@gmail.com
Opened in: 2017

41 – Community Book Center
2523 Bayou Road
New Orleans, LA 70119
Owner/Proprietor: Vera Warren-Williams
Phone: 504-948-7323
Email:
Opened in: 1983

42 – Nubian Cultural Outreach Center
7720 Linwood Ave
Shreveport, LA 71106
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: (318) 686-4477
Email:
Opened in: 0000

43 – Frugal Bookstore
306 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Roxbury, MA 02119
Owner/Proprietor: Leonard Egerton
Phone: 617-541-1722
Email: frugal_books@yahoo.com
Opened in: 0000

44 – Olive Tree Books-n-Voices
97 Hancock Street
Springfield, MA 01109
Owner/Proprietor: Zee Johnson
Phone: 413-737-6400
Email: olivetreebooks@msn.com
Opened in: 2004

45 – MasterWorks Books
2703 Curry Drive
Adelphi, MD 20783
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 301-422-2168
Email:
Opened in: 2000

46 – Everyone’s Place
1356 W. North Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21217
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 410-728-0877
Email:
Opened in: 1986

47 – Expressions Books and Frames
222 N Paca Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: (410) 783-0195
Email:
Opened in: 0000

48 – Jay Books 
400 W Lexington Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone:
Email:
Opened in: 0000

49 – Vision Christian Bookstore
10398 Piscataway Road
Clinton, MD 20735
Owner/Proprietor: Robert & Cheryl Woodard
Phone: 301-234-0035
Email: armorofgod@comcaat.net
Opened in: 2011

50 – Wisdom Book Center
5116 Liberty Heights Ave.
Gwynn Oak, MD 21207
Owner/Proprietor: Bro. Tehuti & Bro. Elliot
Phone: (410) 664-1946
Email: wisdombookcenter@verizon.net
Opened in: 1997

51 – Cartel Cafe & Books Store
5011 Indian Head Highway
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
Owner/Proprietor: T. Styles
Phone: 240 724-7225
Email: cartelcafeandbooks@yahoo.com
Opened in: 2008

52 – Silver Spring Books
938 Bonifant Street
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Owner/Proprietor: Cynthia Parker
Phone: 301-587-7484
Email:
Opened in: 0000

53 – Urban Knowledge Bookstore
3731 Branch Avenue
Temple Hills, MD 20748
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: (301) 702-0717
Email:
Opened in: 0000

54 – Shrine of the Black Madonna (Detroit)
13535 Livernois Ave
Detroit, MI 48238
Owner/Proprietor: Nkenge Bishop Abi
Phone: 313-491-0777
Email: anika@shinebookstore.com
Opened in: 1978

55 – Source Booksellers
4240 Cass Ave Suite 105
Detroit, MI 48201
Owner/Proprietor: Janet Jones
Phone: 313-832-1155
Email: info@sourcebooksdetroit.com
Opened in: 1989

56 – Off the Beaten Path Books & Cafe
33314 Grand River Ave
Farmington, MI 48336
Owner/Proprietor: Salathiel Palland
Phone: (248) 987-6055
Email:
Opened in: 2010

57 – Nandi’s Knowledge Cafe
12511 Woodward Ave
Highland Park, MI 48203
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: (313) 865-1288
Email:
Opened in: 0000

58 – Detroit Book City
24361 Greenfield Rd, Ste. 305
Southfield, MI 48075
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: (248) 209-6880
Email:
Opened in: 2016

59 – The Truth Bookstore
21500 Northwestern Highway, Northland Mall Store # 779
Southfield, MI 48075
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 248-557-4824
Email:
Opened in: 1994

60 – Hood Book Headquarters
20900 Dequindre Road
Warren, MI 48091
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone:
Email:
Opened in: 2000

61 – Black Stone Bookstore & Cultural Center
214 W. Michigan Ave
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Owner/Proprietor: Kip Johnson and Carlos Franklin
Phone: (734) 961-7376
Email: info.blackstoneproject@gmail.com
Opened in: 2013

62 – Ancestry Books
1104 W. Broadway Ave. North
Minneapolis, MN 55411
Owner/Proprietor: Verna Wong and Chaun Webster
Phone: 612-521-4090
Email: hello@ancestrybooksmn.com
Opened in: 2014

63 – Progressive Emporium & Education Center
1108 North Sarah Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63113
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: (314) 875-9277
Email: progressiveemporium@yahoo.com
Opened in: 0000

64 – EyeSeeMe
7827 Olive Blvd
University City, MO 63130
Owner/Proprietor: Pamela Blair
Phone: (314) 349-1122
Email: customerservice@eyeseeme.com
Opened in: 2015

65 – Magnolia Tree Books
310 N. Magnolia Street, Suite 101A
Laurel, MS 39440
Owner/Proprietor: zaji
Phone: 601-342-0990
Email: info@magnoliatreebooks.com
Opened in: 2013

66 – Aframerican Book Store
3226 Lake St
Omaha, NE 68111
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone:
Email: aframerican@yahoo.com
Opened in: 2000

67 – La Unique African American Books & Cultural Center
111 N 6th St.
Camden, NJ 08102
Owner/Proprietor: Larry Miles
Phone: (856) 338-1958
Email: Simba@launiquebooks.net
Opened in: 1992

68 – African American Book Store 
216 1st St
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone:
Email:
Opened in: 2000

69 – Source of Knowledge
867 Broad St
Newark, NJ 07102
Owner/Proprietor: Dexter George
Phone: (973) 824-2556
Email:
Opened in: 0000

70 – Urban Books On Wheels
28 Old Tpke
Pleasantville, NJ 08232
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: (609) 383-9100
Email: Futuredj1164@aol.com
Opened in: 0000

71 – Imoya Treasures, Inc
1465 Irving Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 732-388-4955
Email:
Opened in: 2000

72 – Black Mind Book Boutique
610 New York Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11203
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 718-774-5800
Email:
Opened in: 2000

73 – Official Connection
312 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: (718) 488-0006
Email: official.connection@hotmail.com
Opened in: 2010

74 – Yoruba Book Center
610 New York Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11203
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 718.774.5800
Email: yorubabookcenter@yahoo.com
Opened in: 0000

75 – Zawadi Books
1382 Jefferson Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14208
Owner/Proprietor: Kenneth and Sharon Holley
Phone: (716) 903-6740
Email: jordanholley@aol.com
Opened in: 2012

76 – Grandma’s Place
84 West 120th Street
Harlem, NY 10027
Owner/Proprietor: Grandma Dawn
Phone: (212) 360-6776
Email: grandmasplaceinc@email.biz
Opened in: 2009

77 – Blenheim Hill Books
698 Main Street, Suite A
Hobart, NY 13788
Owner/Proprietor: Cheryl Clarke Barbara Balliet &
Phone: 607-538-9222
Email: blenheimbooks1@gmail.com
Opened in: 2005

78 – Becoming Gods Answer Bookstore
1832 Madison Ave (between 119th and 120th st)
New York, NY 10035
Owner/Proprietor: Rev Joyce Eady
Phone: 646-215-6119
Email: c.brown@becominggodsanswerbookstore.com
Opened in: 0000

79 – Sister’s Uptown Bookstore
1942 Amsterdam Avenue (at 156th Street)
New York, NY 10032
Owner/Proprietor: Janifer P. Wilson
Phone: 212-862-3680
Email:
Opened in: 2000

80 – Mood Makers Books & Art Gallery Village Gate Square
274 N. Goodman St.
Rochester, NY 14607
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 877.223.1730
Email: sales@moodmakersbooks.com or info@moodmakersbooks.
Opened in: 1994

81 – A Cultural Exchange
12624 Larchmere Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44120
Owner/Proprietor: Deborah McHamm
Phone: 216-229-8300
Email: aculturalexchange@fsbcglobal.net
Opened in: 1991

82 – The African Book Shelf
1324Q Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44112
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 216-681-6511
Email:
Opened in: 2000

83 – Black Art Plus
43 Parsons Ave.
Columbus, OH 43215
Owner/Proprietor: Mike Miller
Phone: 614-469-9980
Email: blackartplus@att.net
Opened in: 1987

84 – The Book Suite
887 E. Long Street
Columbus, OH 43203
Owner/Proprietor: James
Phone: 614-252-4552
Email: james@thebooksuite.com
Opened in: 0000

85 – Ujamaa Book Store 
1493 E Livingston Ave
Columbus, OH 43205
Owner/Proprietor: Mustafaa Shabazz
Phone: 614-258-4633
Email: juneteenthohio@fuse.net or smustafaa@aol.com
Opened in: 1997

86 – Knowledge Bookstore
177 Queen Street West
Brampton, ON L6Y 1M5
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 905-459-9875
Email: sales@knowledgebookstore.com
Opened in: 0000

87 – Black and Nobel
1409 West Erie Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19140
Owner/Proprietor: Hakim Hopkins
Phone: (215) 965-1559
Email:
Opened in: 0000

88 – Books & Stuff
23 W Maplewood Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19144
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone:
Email: 215-844-0844
Opened in: 2015

89 – Color Book Gallery
6353 Germantown Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19144
Owner/Proprietor: Deborah Gary
Phone: 215-844-4200
Email:
Opened in: 0000

90 – Hakim’s Bookstore and Gift Shop
210 S 52nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19139
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: (215) 474-9495
Email: bookstorehakims@gmail.com
Opened in: 1959

91 – Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books
5445 Germantown Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19144
Owner/Proprietor: Marc Lamont Hill
Phone: (215) 403-7058
Email:
Opened in: 2017

92 – Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination 
321 W. Antrim Drive
Greenville, SC 29606
Owner/Proprietor: Efia Nwangaza
Phone: (864) 239-0470
Email: wmxp955@gmail.com
Opened in: 1991

93 – The Booksmith
283 Market Street
Seneca, SC 29678
Owner/Proprietor: VaLinda Miller
Phone: 864.885.0872
Email: info@thebooksmith.com
Opened in: 2014

94 – The African Place
581 N 3rd St
Memphis, TN 38105
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: (901) 524-0800
Email: theafricanplace@aol.com
Opened in: 0000

95 – Alkebu-Lan Images Bookstore & Gift Shop
2721 Jefferson Street
Nashville, TN 37208
Owner/Proprietor: Yusef Harris
Phone: 615-321-4111
Email: alkebulanimages@gmail.com
Opened in: 1986

96 – The Pan-African Connection Bookstore
828 Fourth Ave.
Dallas, TX 75226
Owner/Proprietor: Bandele Tyehimba
Phone: 214-943-8262
Email: panafric@airmail.net
Opened in: 1989

97 – The Dock Bookshop
6637 Meadowbrook Dr.
Fort Worth, TX 76112
Owner/Proprietor: Donya Craddock
Phone: 817-457-5700
Email: thedockbookshop@gmail.com
Opened in: 2008

98 – African Imports Houston
12300 North Fwy Ste 147 Greenspoint Mall
Houston, TX 77060
Owner/Proprietor: Obi
Phone: (281) 875-0056
Email: donbasel@yahoo.com
Opened in: 1997

99 – Shrine of the Black Madonna (Houston)
5309 M.L.K. King
Houston, TX 77021
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 832-408-1071
Email: anika@shinebookstore.com
Opened in: 1986

100 – Black World Books
500 N Fort Hood Street Suite 504
Killeen, TX 76541
Owner/Proprietor: Maeva Jackson
Phone: (254) 554-5559
Email: info@blackworldbooks.com
Opened in: 2016

101 – Riches In Reading
912 Canal Dr.
Chesapeake, VA 23323
Owner/Proprietor: Kenyatta Ingram
Phone: 929-445-7427
Email: info@richesinreading.com
Opened in: 2015

102 – Urban Moon Books: The Indie Author Outlet
Chesapeake Square Mall, 4200 Portsmouth Blvd
Chesapeake, VA 23321
Owner/Proprietor: Fanita Pendleton
Phone: 757-465-3858
Email: urbanmoonbooksandmore@gmail.com
Opened in: 2016

103 – House of Consciousness
633 West 35th Street
Norfolk, VA 23508
Owner/Proprietor:
Phone: 757-314-1943
Email: hocbulletin@gmail.com
Opened in: 1986

104 – Timbuktu Bookstore
3601 East Ocean View Avenue, Unit C.
Norfolk, VA 23518
Owner/Proprietor: Bro. Furqaan S. Ali
Phone: 757-374-4591
Email:
Opened in: 2003

105 – Positive Vibes
6220 B Indian River Rd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
Owner/Proprietor: A Partnership
Phone: 757-523-1399
Email:
Opened in: 1992

Royal Gazette Bermuda

The story begins in utero. Audrey McLean’s mother was bleeding while pregnant. It’s the start of the memoir that parallels the Jamaican’s struggles and triumphs from childhood to adulthood.

“The story starts with a bang — life or death,” said the author of The Diamond Trap.

“My hardship started in utero. I asked the question, ‘Can’t an unborn baby get a break?’”

The self-published, non-fiction novel came out at the end of last year followed by parenting handbook Twins-to-One and children’s book Miss Underwood.

Contrary to what she thought, it is the most popular book of the three. Readers from Britain and Canada have posted reviews on Amazon and connected with her “harsh” yet “hilarious” tale.

“It’s not a boring autobiography,” said the Bermuda resident. “It’s hilarious ... they say. And engaging.”

She said comedy comes naturally.

“I like to make people laugh, and I like to laugh. I’ve been getting this reaction since the time I was in Jamaica two decades ago.

“Every time I’d give a little excerpt of my life, people would burst out laughing. I wasn’t trying to be funny, but apparently the joke and the experience was extremely embarrassing and extremely hilarious.

“Everybody has a favourite chapter.”

Her favourite is My Pet Rooster.

When her father, the breadwinner, died, he left her mother with an ectopic pregnancy and necessary surgery. Once out of the hospital, she took her five children back home from their grandmother’s, but there was nothing to eat.

“There was no food, nothing. Except for Sammy, my rooster, who was 100 years old,” she recalled.

Her sister was tasked to pick the weevils from the rice; she to catch the rooster.

“Normally, Sammy would be coming up like a little dog and behave like a normal pet. He would eat ice cream and he would eat chicken,” she laughed.

“But Sammy picked up on something when we were approaching him. He started running like Usain Bolt.”

They eventually caught him, but the meat was too tough.

“It was cooking for like ten hours and it was not palatable,” she laughed. “I didn’t eat any, but everybody else had to settle with sucking it.”

Another favourite is The Shoes, an episode she described as “embarrassing”.

Her mother had promised that if she got in to a good high school, she would buy her a new pair of shoes.

Ever “thrifty”, when reminded of the promise, she took her daughter to local shoemaker, Mr Binns.

“I said, please mummy, that cobbler has the talent of a lizard. She didn’t argue with me. We had to go,” she remembered.

Ms McLean wanted Mary Janes. Instead, she got “the biggest ugliest, indestructible pair of shoes”.

“It was as big as a row boat. I used a machete and tried to cut the sole. I walked in water when it rained on the road. I twisted it, but it was indestructible.

Being bullied only bolstered her sense of humour, but the story is not all laughs.

“It has some very sad moments like the death of my father, the death of my mother, the death of my ex, my children being very ill,” she said.

“It carries your emotions up and down.”

The pharmaceutical rep has lived on the island for more than a decade after she married a Bermudian.

She started writing The Diamond Trap three years ago, but was held back when struck by doubt. She identified her target audience, the Caribbean Diaspora, yet doubt still crept in.

Then she dreamt about Oprah.

“Somebody just burst through the door and said, ‘Surprise!’ It was Oprah Winfrey in a red dress,” she laughed. “I thought Oprah ... Book Club ... I should finish this.”

There’s a chapter dedicated to her transformation. Debts were paid off, her divorce settled and she began to see herself clearly.

“It was very therapeutic to write that book,” she said. “I didn’t realise I was so strong until I looked at myself properly in totality.

“There’s a chapter that I titled Déjà Vu, which shows the parallel of Jamaica to Bermuda, childhood to adulthood. There’s also a parallel with the process of diamond formation. Trapped in the core of the earth as charcoal under intense pressure that we can’t even imagine and it can’t move, but it slowly forms into this beautiful diamond.”

“It’s engaging, I can assure you,” she grinned.

She left out some of the “juicy” moments in her relationship out of respect for her children, seven-year-old twin girls.

The second book is a parenting manual for “anybody that feels overwhelmed”.

Twins-to-One is a play on the term two-to-one and it talks about the unbalanced ratio of parents to children,” she said.

“This book was inspired by people without twins asking me how I was doing it.”

She says she doesn’t preach.

“It’s very comprehensive and very helpful. I talk about money management, time management, legal aspects, support, boundaries.

“If you’re a single parent you have to de-stress and you have to get time by yourself.

It also goes into managing a career; she has to travel often for her work with Merck Sharp & Dohme;, and coping with divorce.

Miss Underwood is her favourite book, the name is a play on the word “misunderstood”.

In the book, a primary schoolteacher from a fictional tropical island, Isle of Gold, migrates to teach primary schoolchildren in an undetermined country that could be the US or Canada.

There is no patois in the book. She uses English words and phrases that are commonly misunderstood in different cultures. She wants to see her book in schools in Japan, the US, Canada and Bermuda to bridge the gap between Jamaican culture and theirs.

“The whole book is a misunderstanding,” she said. “It’s teaching children cultural diversity.”

• Audrey McLean’s books are available at Bookmart, The Bermuda Bookstore, Nubian Nook Bookstore on Court Street, Caesar’s Pharmacy, Somerset Pharmacy and Robertson’s. The e-book can be found on Amazon.com. Ms McLean will hold a book signing at Brown & Co on January 26 and 27

Audrey McClean

Royal Gazette

Royal Gazette Bermuda

Trish Croke was overwhelmed when she first let her hair go natural.The pharmacy was packed with natural hair care products, but none of them worked for her.

“I was becoming a product junkie,” said the 50-year-old. “My bathroom closet was quickly filling with products I couldn’t use.”

So after some online research, she began experimenting with making her own hair care products.

“At first I was giving away what I was making,” she said. “Then my cousin suggested I sell it. I was hesitant at first, but then I thought I’d give it a try.”

She launched her own natural hair care line, Island Potions, last year.

Her line consisted of flaxseed gel, flaxseed custard, tropical ice gel, aloe vera gel treatment and many others, all ranging in price from $5 to $20.

They help with everything from eczema and itchiness to dry hair and hair freshness. She even has something for men with itchy beards. She also sells home-made soaps and candles.

At first, she imagined her market would be small, but there was an outpouring of interest.

“I entered the natural hair movement midstream,” she said.

Knowing that everyone’s hair is different, she decided to give consultations before selling her products.

“I am not a hair stylist or certified in any way,” she said. “I tell my clients not to take what I say as the gospel.

“I am just telling them what I know from experience and what I have found through research. That is what I work from.”

She has found that a lot of her clients are experiencing the same confusion she first felt.

“They are embracing their natural hair for the first time, but don’t know how to care for it,” she said.

Some of her clients have thinning hair after years of using chemicals to straighten it.

“Stress and medication can also affect your hair,” she said. “If you have a weave or dreads, that pulls on the hair and can lead to thinning hair.”

Unfortunately, she said, it is difficult to turn back thinning hair once it has started.

Her own hair journey has not been an easy one. She had her first perm when she was 12 years old.

“As I was growing up my hair had gotten a lot thicker and longer making it unmanageable for my mom,” said Ms Croke. “My mom being black Bermudian and father being Portuguese made my hair a different texture from my mom.

“With the struggle my mom had with my unique hair type she took me to the hairdresser and I got a perm.”

Ms Croke continued to get it permed until she was 45.

The final straw came when her long hair got caught in a car door in 2014.

“I knew it was time to do something different with my hair, but I didn’t know what,” she said.

Years of perms had left her hair dry and damaged. A hairdresser suggested she go natural.

At first Ms Croke balked at the idea. “I said I have to go to work, I can’t have my hair looking like that,” said Ms Croke.

But her hairdresser urged her to try it. “I tried it for three months, then panicked and said I can’t do this, I have to go back to a perm,” said Ms Croke.

But her hairdresser urged her to stick with it. What was left of her old perm was holding back her curls from coming in.

“She said, ‘Just keep doing it and your beautiful curls will come in’,” said Ms Croke. “So I transitioned for a year, and then decided to do what we call the Big Chop.

“It was scary to get my hair all cut off, but I knew it was time.”

She had to go quite short. Her friends and family were shocked but supportive. “Everyone was very positive,” she said.

Three years later, her hair falls to below her waist when it is straightened. When she started Island Potions she was working at Colonial as a full-time legal executive assistant.

“They made me redundant at the end of May,” she said. “That hit me hard because I wasn’t expecting it. Thank God that Island Potions was kicking off. I didn’t think it would be as successful as it is.”

And she loves the work. “At the end of the day I like being natural and I want to help other naturals,” she said. “I get satisfaction from it.”

But she is also hoping to find another full-time job as a personal assistant. “I just love helping people,” she said.

Her soy candles and soaps are available at Nubian Nook on Court Street. Her hair care products are sold from her home in Spanish Point.

For more information see Island Potions on Facebook or e-mail her on islandpotions@gmail.com.

Designing Sistas Magazine

An excerpt from the story...

African American Litrature Book Club

Nubian Nook being advertised on an international website by AALBC.  An entity that celebrates reading, authors and books, by highlighting the best of the best, from around the world.

 

Heart & Soul Online Magazine

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Rosheena Beek....K.I.M's List congratulates you on your future progress and success!

Bernews

 

Mommy_Says_Press_Conference_2015.mov 

A children’s book by local author Rosheena Beek, is gaining traction as a piece of educational literature, with a number of copies to make their way into Bermuda’s schools.

Copies of the book ‘Mommy Says!’ will be donated to the island’s public primary schools as well as pre-schools.

Ms. Beek said, “It is a distinct honor, in light of a firm contribution by the Department of Education to Moja Co. Productions, publishing house of the vest selling children’s book ‘Mommy Says!,’ to have been given the opportunity to donate seven, “Mommy Says!” books, per the eighteen Public Primary Schools and 2 Mommy Says! Books, per the ten Public Pre-schools of Bermuda, as part of the Dept. of Educations Literacy Initiative.

“Currently, Mommy Says! is being considered by the Children’s Defense Fund, out of Washington D.C., to become a part of their “Freedom School Program”, curriculum listing 2016.” “It’s also being considered for the Atlanta-Fulton Library to become a listing of their 34 branches throughout Atlanta Georgia in 2016. It has become a current listing into the Auburn Avenue Research Library, Atlanta Georgia, a library dedicated to the Research of African Studies.

“A lesson plan based upon my book has been created by Janiece Montoya, Mental Health Counselor of Third Way Center in Denver, Colorado. The lesson plan is created for all teachers, counselors and parents of the world, as an aid to help all children in the P1 – P5 classes learn more about themselves and their feelings.

“This lesson plan will be introduced to the world in 2016 also.”

“I couldn’t be more happy than I am today, to be able to give such a donation to the Department of Education being that I was taught by this school system. Also, as an author, it is a great example for all of the children coming through this system, to show them that with hard work and dedication, anything that they put their mind to is possible.”

‘Mommy Says!’ is currently on sale at The Bookmart, Bermuda Bookstore, Caesars Pharmacy, Robertson’s Drug Store, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Uptown Sisters Bookstore and Grandma’s Place in Harlem, New York City, Nubian Bookstore in Atlanta, Georgia, A Different Booklist, and Knowledge Bookstore of Toronto, Canada.

PinkSand Entertainment

Yahoo.com

Dear Rosheena,

I write to express my sincere appreciation for you having served as one of our Readers at the 16th Annual Children's Reading Festival. 

This year we had 2,600 people attend the event; 1,000 of which were children!

The purpose of the event continues to celebrate the love of reading in the hopes of inspiring life-long readers.  

We sincerely thank you for sharing your very own book and love of reading with the children last week. You are an inspiration to many for authoring such a special story!

Regards,
Lisa Reed
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Bermuda Alumnae Chapter

First Read Expo 2015

12283832_446283675562666_357070139_n.mp4

I am a featured author at the First Read Expo 2015.  I will also be presenting on the "My Own Master Piece" stage on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 5:15pm.

Royal Gazette

Grandmas Place in Harlem Blog

FACEBOOK

AskManagement2251

This is a heartwarming critique about my books made by Bermuda College students. 

Bernews

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Hey former school counseling classmates and teachers, Rosheena's books are amazing on every level. I created a bibliotherapy school counseling lesson plan for "I Find it So Hard" and will gladly pass it along. Just inbox me your email if I don't have it and I will send it ASAP. Rosheena is truly an amazing writer and your students will grow and learn from the experience.

Royal Gazette

 

 

Bernews

CaribDaily

Bermuda National Gallery

Royal Gazette

Bernews

Bermynet

Bermuda Sun

Royal Gazette Bermuda

A new production company that encompasses film, theatre, photography, and image building for potential stars has opened its doors.

Playwright Patricia Nesbitt, videographer Rosheena Beek and choreographer Michelle Laylor are the key players behind The Four Women Production House – they cite God as the fourth member.

Their focus is talented women. The group believes that a society with mentally, physically, and spiritually balanced females works well.

  • Balanced approach: Rosheena Beak (left), Patricia Nesbitt (centre) and Michelle Laylor (right) are the key players behind The Four Women Production House and they cite God as the fourth member. Their focus is on talented women." />

    Balanced approach: Rosheena Beak (left), Patricia Nesbitt (centre) and Michelle Laylor (right) are the key players behind The Four Women Production House and they cite God as the fourth member. Their focus is on talented women.

 

A new production company that encompasses film, theatre, photography, and image building for potential stars has opened its doors.

Playwright Patricia Nesbitt, videographer Rosheena Beek and choreographer Michelle Laylor are the key players behind The Four Women Production House – they cite God as the fourth member.

Their focus is talented women. The group believes that a society with mentally, physically, and spiritually balanced females works well.

"This is not to negate or leave out men," said Miss Laylor, "but we find that a lot of women are hurting and they need something positive to help lift up their spirits.

"I believe that spirit wants to express itself, be it one way or the other. In this society, we used to celebrate the culture of Bermuda. We used to express ourselves through song, dance, art – be it visual or fine art – and right now the focus seems to be business. So it is out of balance, we definitely need the arts."

One of the organisation's first ventures was grooming local singer Twanée Butterfield for her album launch.

"We had seen Twanée at an event and we were talking about how she needed to create an image so that when she went overseas there was something about her that was an attention getter," explained Mrs. Nesbitt.

"Michelle had the opportunity to work on her choreography and Rosheena filmed the process – when she talks to a producer she can just slip the DVD in."

The idea is to develop into an international company with a focus on training and developing performing artists for a professional market.

Upcoming events include the DVD release of 'The Wedding' – the final play in Mrs. Nesbitt's 'Pastor Will You Marry Me' trilogy – and a summer programme based in Atlanta, for teens interested in the performing arts.

Royal Gazette