Hi Finsbury Park,
A couple of weeks ago we visited New Beacon Books on Stroud Green Road, the UK’s first publishing house, bookshop, and international book service that specialised in Black British, Caribbean, African, African-American and Asian literature. We met with Vanessa, who told us a bit about New Beacon’s place in the community. We had a browse and picked up some great books, everyone should definitely go and check it out. The ‘GoFundMe’ page is no longer active, so the best way to support the bookshop is by going and buying some books!
“My husband and I got involved in January; this is the whole reason why it went on to social media, because there was this whole thing at the end of the year, last year. The shop reached its fiftieth anniversary of being open and they were gonna close it. So, we had a conversation, basically we wasn’t really feeling that. It’s too important in the community to just close. Janice Durham, who is one of the directors of the bookshop, she did a video – I’m not sure if you guys have seen that? Watch it, because that caused a lot of stir and got a lot of people through the door. Just appealing to the community to come out and support and come in and just have a look at what we have in store. Following that we did a GoFundMe page, you can see the shop is old, it hasn’t really been worked on since the eighties, but the shop does still have a place in society. Yes there are people that will go on Amazon, but there are also a huge amount of people that prefer to come into a bookshop and browse. They like feeling the book physically in their hands, reading the back and then going off to another category. You don’t get that with amazon, you might get cheapness, but sometimes it’s not all about cheapness, it’s about your experience. So, that was captured in terms of the support we received. We’ve been nominated for a diversity award for a community organisation. We’re encouraging people to vote for us on that. It would be a nice kind of cherry on the cake for, this is our fifty first year now, so yes, we’ve struggled but we’re still here. That would be great to get that, just to kind of tick it off. [The role of literature] has amazing influence and amazing importance in [the community]. Again the media has a huge role to play in what people think about what’s going on. You switch on the TV, you see negative, negative, negative, iPad, iPad, iPad, phones, phones, phones. There are other people that are extremely talented and they wanna read, they wanna paint.”
New Beacon Books Ltd, 76 Stroud Green Rd, Stroud Green, London N4 3EN