Brighton’s only black owned bookshop has been saved from the threat of closure after finding a new home.
A community crowdfunder raised £19,000 to help Afrori Books, which is based in the Lighthouse building on Kensington Street, find a new home for the book shop.
The shop, selling titles by black authors, is to move to a new home in the Brighthelm Centre, North Road, opening on Saturday, 6 May.
When it first opened, the Lighthouse charity gave the bookshop a very reduced rent for its first year. But after it lost its own main funding, it was forced to almost quadruple the rent.
The book shop managed to secure a month’s extension to find a new building.
Owner Carolynn Bain said: “It has been a really difficult time and there have been a lot of tears in the last few months. “I guess now we are still crying, but they are tears of joy.
“We said all along that we didn’t just want to go into any space, but we wanted to go to the right space – one where we could expand on the community work we really want to do.
“A space that was safe for black people and their allies and a place where community was front and central. “We believe that Brighthelm is that space.
“They are already doing the work and we have a lot of common ground.
“We are genuinely excited about the coming year.”
The shop in Kensington Street will close on Monday, 24 April and will reopen at the Brighthelm Centre on Saturday, 6 May.
The estimated cost to move premises is close to £25,000. Another fundraising event will be held for Afrori Books at Unitarian Church on New Road on (day), 30 March with 12 acts and raffle prizes.
Afrori Books opened in 2020, following the murder of George Floyd. They run anti-racist workshops for children in Sussex schools as well as an Afro hair education program and book clubs with University of Sussex and University of Brighton.
Afrori Books is also nominated as a finalist for Bookseller of the Year at the Bookseller awards in Park Lane, London.
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