On Saturday, the Free Black Women’s Library-Detroit will be hosting a free outdoor book exchange at The Tuxedo Project. The event will celebrate the library’s second anniversary, as well as Juneteenth, now a federally recognized holiday, which commemorates the end of slavery in America in 1865.
“I think that’s part of what makes this library really special … Black women’s voices are centered and that is something that rarely happens.” — Ola Ronke Akinmowo, founder of the Free Black Women’s Library
Listen: How the Free Black Women’s Library-Detroit is celebrating Juneteenth.
Ola Ronke Akinmowo is the founder of the Free Black Women’s Library in Brooklyn. Akinmowo describes the library as “a social art project that features a collection of over 3,000 books written by Black women … it celebrates the diversity of Black women’s literature, it travels all over New York City and works as an interactive installation.”
Akinmowo notes that the purpose of the library is to center and empower the creativity of Black women. “I think that’s part of what makes this library really special … Black women’s voices are centered and that is something that rarely happens,” she says. “You walk into the space and no matter what your interests are, you’ll find something … written from a Black woman’s point of view.”
Katelyn Durst Rivas is the founder of the Detroit chapter of the Free Black Women’s Library. Rivas started the chapter two years ago, after completing her graduate studies. “I was finishing up a thesis about radical self-care … and it brought in a lot of literature that was written by Black women … and I just began kind of building this library and I wanted to do more with it,” she says.
Rivas intentionally opened the library on Juneteenth in 2019. She explains, “It’s such an important day to celebrate Blackness, to celebrate freedom, to remember that Black women are at the core of everything.”
Web post written by Molly Ryan