Written by: Malik Pollard
For Black and Brown book lovers, there is no place more magical than the Essence Bookstore during the festival. Stacks and stacks of books by African American authors are displayed on tables and shelves throughout the area, providing a wide array of books for festival-goers. There are popular mainstream books but the Essence Bookstore, hosted by New Orleans’ Garden District Book Shop, also found it important to provide an opportunity for independent black authors such as LeAndrea Mack, to have the same opportunity. Rayna, bookstore and social media coordinator for Garden District Book Shop said, “We are excited to have independent authors like her in the bookstore.”
The Essence Bookstore stayed shoulder to shoulder as guest discovered new titles, shopped the latest reads and took pictures with celebrity authors like Common, Kym Whitley, Big Freedia, Joy-Ann Reid and more from Friday to Sunday of the festival. While e-books and audiobooks are on the rise, the Essence Bookstore thrived by creating a book buying experience that made the books from their store, part of the Essence Festival experience.