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My husband, two year old son and I are starting a bookstore, called Blackberry Books and Coffee, in West Louisville. We are raising money to purchase and open a storefront. We have purchased seating, bookcases and collected thousands of books! We've dedicated much of our income to saving up for the business by living simply and focusing on our dream of running a successful book store.
The money you donate will be used to purchase and renovate a location in West Louisville, specifically in the Russell Neighborhood. We would like to move the business into the location by July or August (5-6 months from this posting). We were serving the community as a traveling bookstore and children's entertainment company and were delighted by the demand and support of our patrons and neighbors. We believe that this storefront will be a valued addition to the West Louisville community and that, (our neighbors) the residents of West Louisville, deserve professional and welcoming business.
Blackberry Books and Coffee serves to bring stories of the marginalized to the center in full color and culture. It’s mission is to build and maintain a safe space for family and community to enjoy multicultural literature, storytelling and togetherness. Blackberry Books and Coffee cultivates familial bonds and the organizing of resources by providing intersectional and intergenerational space, comfort, and literature to support our patrons.
By providing community and children's programming, diverse and expansive literary options, and a delicious, healthy menu; Blackberry Books and Coffee serves the entire community from young to old. The need for diversity and community togetherness could never be greater than it is in today's times. The mission put simply is to offer positive narratives for people to identify with and space where we can build a brighter future together!
For children the need for positive affirmation and intellectual stimulation is doubly important. At Blackberry Books and Coffee we believe in building community around the well being of our children. Diversity in children's literature, television programming and toys is important to marginalized children because they utilize the media to learn about themselves and dream about what is possible. Currently marginalized children struggle to succeed while being surrounded by stereotypical images that negatively impact their well-being and self-identity. Blackberry Books and Coffee seeks to change that!
Since learning that we would parent an African American son our focus has been on collecting as many positive representations of African American's as possible. We found that this was not easy and were met with the challenge of finding positive narratives among the sheer absence of diversity or the plethora of unhealthy and problematic images. After some time of making in-roads and mapping out avenues to find quality children's books and entertainment, our collection steadily grew. It continued to grow until we had collected so many books we felt it was a dis-service to our community not to share them.
It is said that we should "be the change we want to see" in the world. My husband and I are becoming the change we so desperately need and we ask you to join us by donating to our GoFundMe page!
Your consideration is so appreciated and any funding you are able to donate, no matter the amount, means the world to us! Thank you so much for your support and generosity!
- Joanie McConnell
- Shannon Burns
- Kara Amundson
- Alix Kalaher
- Laura Johnsrude
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