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MahoganyBooks opens East of the River

Jae Alan

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MahoganyBooks opens East of the River
(Washington, DC) Anacostia Arts Center is excited to announce that MahoganyBooks is opening this month, meeting the literary needs of readers in search of books written for, by, or about people of the African Diaspora. Previously solely an online bookstore created by husband and wife team, Derrick and Ramunda Young, MahoganyBooks will open the first book store in historic Anacostia in over two decades, featuring a wide array of books, events, and services geared towards supporting, empowering, and engaging readers and writers.
MahoganyBooks will open on November 24, 2017. The hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday thru Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The store is located at 1231 Good Hope Rd SE, Washington, DC 20020.
MahoganyBooks is also hosting a “first look” of its bookstore to supporters and the Anacostia community on December 4th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Incorporating modern design elements and technology, the bookstore will have an open floor allowing the space to be easily transformed for large events, mobile cashiers and iPad stations to research and order books.  MahoganyBooks will also host virtual book events, conducting virtual interviews with authors as well as live streaming events online. A grand opening and community celebration will be held during Black History Month.
“It is important we create a rich, concerted space where readers and writers connect and discuss issues of yesterday and today that impact our culture and how we see ourselves,” says MahoganyBooks co-founder, Derrick Young.
MahoganyBooks will also feature Duende District, a mobile bookstore by and for people of color-where all are welcome, as a long-term pop-up. The MahoganyBooks and Duende District collaboration aims to provide a high-quality selection of books by authors of color from a variety of cultures.
“I am very excited to partner with MahoganyBooks in their first physical store space and to bring a Duende District pop-up to Anacostia, says Angela Marie Spring, Duende District’s owner, a first-generation Latinx. “MahoganyBooks’ professionalism, experience and commitment to creating a wonderful bookstore experience for African-American and black communities is a perfect complement to Duende District’s own mission.”
Their relationship will create an inclusive literary environment for populations that are largely underrepresented by other book retailers. The events that they have hosted at the Anacostia Arts Center have already promoted poets, fiction, and nonfiction authors of color East of the River.
About Anacostia Arts Center:
Anacostia Arts Center is a project of the ARCH Development Corporation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating a home for small businesses, artists, arts and cultural organizations to fulfill its commitment to the revitalization and sustainable economic development of Historic Anacostia. The Arts Center is 9,300 square feet and includes a 1,000-square-foot Black Box Theater, six galleries/boutiques, and Art-Drenaline Cafe. The center opened in June 2013.
About MahoganyBooks:
Started in 2007 by husband and wife duo, Derrick and Ramunda Young, MahoganyBooks is the fastest growing online bookstore for people of the African Diaspora.  It has grown from being exclusively an online bookstore to being the go-to bookseller for community book events in the District, Maryland and Virginia.  Over the years, MahoganyBooks has connected readers to writers for exciting and thought-provoking literary events with the likes of Misty Copeland, U.S. Representative John Lewis, Walter Mosley, Chimamanda Adichie, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and former Mayor Marion Barry among others. To learn more visit http://www.mahoganybooks.com/.

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Anacostia News

“SPREAD SOUTHSIDE LOVE” Mural featuring Frederick Douglass and his friends

Jae Alan

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SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2017 – 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

“SPREAD SOUTHSIDE LOVE” Mural featuring Frederick Douglass and his friends

16th & W STREET SE [2200 16th Street SE] 

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HISTORIC ANCOSTIA, WASHINGTON, D.C.: During the week leading to the birthday celebration muralist Rebeka Ryvola has been working with community members to install a new mural honoring Frederick Douglass and his friends at the newly renovated corner store at 16th and W Street SE, down the street from the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

Ephrame Kassaye, the new owner of the corner store, has supported an effort to create an honorific and community-based mural on the 16th Street SE side of his building, similar to the mural of the 1963 March on Washington on the side of a building he owns at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Mellon Street in Congress Heights.

The mural, “Spread Southside Love,” re-creates an imaginary Sunday literary salon on the back lawn of Cedar Hill. Captured in the public artwork is the historic home, Anacostia River, DC Capitol and Washington Monument in the background.

Douglass is joined by friends and contemporaries, including radical abolitionist John Brown, activist lawyer and the first black graduate of Harvard Richard Greener, journalist and Civil Rights leader and suffragette Ida Wells, first African American to serve a full-term in the United States Senate Blanche K. Bruce, abolitionist and Douglass mentor Wendell Phillips, and groundbreaking journalist Grace Greenwood, seen playing baseball with a number of modern day neighborhood children. A young person serenades the gathering with the violin.

Ryvola, who has worked with the Anacostia Watershed Society, will finish the mural installation on Saturday, February 17.

For more information on the mural visit http://rebekaryvola.com/#/frederick-douglass-mural-commission/

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Anacostia News

Black Bookstore Opens in Southeast DC ‘Book Desert’

Jae Alan

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Anacostia News

Anacostia Community Museum Receives $49,616 Award From the National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grant Program

Jae Alan

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The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum has announced that it received an award of $49,616 from the National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grant Program. These funds will support the upcoming exhibition “A Right to the City” presented as part of the museum’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration that began Sept. 15, 2017.

The outcome of a three-year research effort, “A Right to the City” will explore the history of neighborhood change and activism in the nation’s capital and will be on view April 21, 2018, through April 20, 2020. It focuses on diverse Washington, D.C. neighborhoods affected by the “return to the city” movement taking place in urban centers nationwide and tells the story of ordinary citizens who have helped shape and reshape their neighborhoods in extraordinary ways.

“‘A Right to the City’ is a timely representation of just how important a sense of community and home—a sense of place—are to people’s everyday lives,” said Lori D. Yarrish, the museum’s director. “The goals of the African American Civil Rights Grant Program align perfectly with ours in establishing the importance of site-based research and documentation in shaping the future. We appreciate NPS’ support in helping us to tell these stories.”

The National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grant Program was established in 2016 to preserve and highlight the sites and stories related to the African American struggle for equality in the 20th century. The grants, funded by the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the National Park Service, provide funding to states, tribes, local governments and non-profit organizations to support a broad range of planning, development and research projects for historic sites associated with African American civil rights in the 20th century.

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