Brighton and Sussex to have its first black-owned bookshop

Brighton and Sussex to have its first black-owned bookshop. CREDIT: Glen Noble/ Unsplash

Partnering with 30-year-old Brighton charity Lighthouse, Afrori Books will open its bookshop to book lovers in October – in spite of the controversy when it launched its online store last year.

Just one year after opening the controversial online bookshop selling books by black authors, Afrori Books is now making plans to open a physical shop in the North Laines, Brighton in October.

Afrori has launched a crowdfund for £10,000 to transform the downstairs space at Lighthouse charity’s building in Kensington Street into a bookshop and plan to open in October. A spokesperson for the charity said: “We can’t think of a better way to occupy the Lighthouse space, for it to become a home to the only Black-owned bookshop for Black authors in Brighton.”

The crowdfund hit more than £3,000 in just 48 hours of launching.

On opening the business last year, Afrori Books sparked controversy with some saying that it was not necessary to have a bookshop that favoured black authors and the store’s email and social media account were hit with a flurry of racial abuse.

In spite of this, the online store has continued to thrive and has been highlighted by several social media influencers, had articles in the mainstream press and is part of a recently aired BBC World Service documentary.

The store currently works with a local charity that gives free books to schools and say this work will expand to free workshops for teachers when the shop opens, as well as children’s days, author visits and young writer events.

Afrori Books is also committed to offering employment to those who would also find it difficult to find it. It wants to be more than a bookshop that helps you to diversify your bookshelves, it wants to be a social space, a safe space, a space that is needed, a space that did not exist in the city before.


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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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