Store pulls African American culture off the shelf

JaNaya Hanks, Entertainment Editor

Walking into the Aframerican Book Store, the first thing I notice is the culture. African flags, big curly hair on paintings, and the black fist.

When I walked inside, on the left I saw a stand full of books and behind it were all the other books in the store. When I looked to the right there would be all types of interesting pictures, paintings, statues, etc.

As soon as I walked in I was greeted by the owner of the store. She welcomed my mother and I and told us to get a good look around.

There were a huge variety of antique looking statues spread around the store. The ranged from small to human sized and all had a different look.

There were also many different paintings. My favorite painting was of a bunch of African American women dancing and just having fun. It was such a powerful picture showing the different body types and different textures of hair.

I looked around the book section and I was interested in the types of books there were. When I went to the very back of the store that’s where the stories for the younger kids were. Then the further up I went the more mature the books got.

I loved that all the books were written by an African American author and the owner made that very clear. She was very proud to tell us about the culture of the store and that every single book in the store was written by a Black person.

As we were going back to the cash register there was a whole other section of the store. There were shirts that had a bunch of different colors and patterns, representing the African culture, on sale.

The further back I went, towards the cash register, the more cosmetic and hygienic products there are. I was so interested in the back I hadn’t even noticed my mom was buying this beautiful calendar. Every month of the calendar had a new picture of a Black woman showing off her curves and big curly hair.

In the back there was makeup in every shade, foundations, concealers, pretty much everything you’d need. I spent about 90% of my time looking at how the makeup ranged in so many different shades, even for the darker complexions.

Then beside the makeup were those hair products for the natural African American hair. Kinky, curly, and nappy hair need a special type of recognition and to have a whole section for those textures of hair really surprised me.

I didn’t want to leave the store, I had so many questions about the history of the store, but everything must come to an end. Once we were leaving the owner asked me how I was doing in school and how my grades were looking. She asked what school I went to and asked if I was looking into some scholarships.

She recommended me to a scholarship program and told me to keep my grades up so I qualified for the scholarship. I felt so appreciated, someone who barely knows anything about me wants to see me succeed.

Once that happened I remembered why I love that store so much. Not only does the store have so much culture inside, I felt at home.