July 4, 2012

Harlem's HUE-MAN BOOKSTORE Closing

SR Ladies at Hue-Man Bookstore with Kalisha Buckhanon, author of "Conception"
Bookstores are a dying breed in the literary world. Sadly, Harlem's own historic HUE-MAN BOOKSTORE & CAFE  joins this unfortunate saga as more and more bookstores close shop. 

After thriving in the Harlem community throughout economic ups and downs while bringing authors of all spectrums to the fore front from celebrities to artists hungry to get their voices heard, at the end of this month this black-owned bookstore will close its doors.

In a recent article in "Dominion", the reporter boasts (rightfully so) of Hue-Man Bookstore as a last of great shops that "...specializes in any and every subject within the African Diaspora. Over 24,000 books burrow cover to cover in their specified shelves, street lit aside folklore, Eric Dyson aside Childress. African handmade baskets and jewelry, black dolls and artwork are also peppered throughout the aisles and shelves. A small staff of four, including mother-son owners Kenneth and Marva Allen, manager Micheal Bannerman, and one intern, runs all 4,500 square feet of the space."

To hear that they could not overcome this current economic downturn and/or the e-trend saddens me but I have hope about Hue-Man Bookstore's future. In a statement by the owners and staff of Hue-Man Bookstore, while they express their gratitude to their supporters and recognize the changing of the times of societal trends they also admit that there is a need for Hue-Man's vision and future existence to evolve:

Closing the existing format of Hue-Man is forward thinking on our part and as we take pause to re-imagine the future of books and how to ensure that their purpose of entertaining, imparting knowledge and honing creativity is preserved, we find no viable alternative but to go back to the drawing board. Closing our beloved bookstore, I assure you was a very hard decision for us. Yet, the confluence of events, changing landscape, the end of our lease and the international expansion of our vision, closing our physical location was the only sensible decision we could make. There is no way to re-imagine the bookstore of the future in our current space. To try to do so would be a stop gap and a waste of resources.
Please join the SR ladies in supporting Hue-Man by walking through its thresholds for the last time this month to purchase a book or two, join the mailing list to stay on top of future events and continue to visit their online shop for your literary needs.