Supporting Black-Owned Bookstores, Black Readers, And Youth In South Bronx

Supporting Black-Owned Bookstores, Black Readers, And Youth In South Bronx

Hello Frequency Community!

Through your purchases from Q1 of this year (2021), we were able to support two substantial projects that positively impact communities of color across the country: Reading For Black Lives and Poetry to the Streets.

Fayola Fair runs and operates The Reading For Black Lives Project. This project produces an ongoing series of book lists that address numerous different topics related to Blackness--including but not limited to queer history, womanism and Black feminisms, prison abolition, medical racism, and the school-to-prison pipeline.

Fayola sends books to Black folks who sign up online to receive free literature from these lists. She mindfully purchases the books from Black-owned bookstores, which is where most of the profit share is applied.

In her own words, Fayola describes The Reading For Black Lives Project:

“This project features Black authors, as we are the experts on our own experiences. The Reading for Black Lives project provides educational resources to uplift, celebrate and center Black history, knowledge, culture and liberation.

Through the project I have also been able to launch the Black Books Fund. The Black Books Fund is a mutual aid effort to provide books by Black authors, from Black-owned bookstores to Black people across the United States and Canada.”

Fayola has sent 130 books to over 20 different states and to Canada since November 2020!

The second Frequency Fund recipient is Ayling Dominguez! Ayling’s project is called Poetry to the Streets, a project for 9th-12th graders in South Bronx to vocalize their perspectives and experiences with current gentrification and displacement in their communities.

Gentrification feels forced and violating while development companies and investors have no regard for the communities that they displace. Ayling reminds us:

“Our voices matter. Sense of place and home deeply matters. As Black and Brown youth see major change happening right before their eyes, neighbors having to move out because of unaffordable rent and local businesses closing down, it's important they know that they are valued, that their stories are valued, and that there is space for them.

Poetry to the Streets entails hosting radical poetry and storytelling workshops with Black youth and youth of color in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx to create art, poetry, and put pen to paper to record stories about what community means to them and how they see their community now, particularly in a moment where gentrification and displacement threatens so many Black and Brown communities in the Bronx and Alto Manhattan.”

Ayling plans to print out the youth’s poems and written pieces on stickers to create a wall mural in South Bronx or Inwood, two areas in New York City that are experiencing extreme displacement.

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