Black Bird Bookstore

MLK's Words

January 2022


I grew up in the public schools of New Orleans in the 80s. MLK Day was, after Mardi Gras, the most memorable school event of the year. We would eat our hot lunches in the cafeteria while the teachers wheeled out a record player and played Dr. King's full 'I Have a Dream' speech. It was scratchy and loud, but we all sat silently listening to his words each day for a week. And in classes we sang songs, performed in plays and read books that wove the history, the stories and the activism behind King’s words.
It made an impression.

As I have moved away from the South and lived in different parts of the country, I have been surprised that this was not a shared school experience. For many, the narrative is quieter, more centered around MLK the person (‘inspiring person’) or a generalization of what he stood for (‘peace’) rather than focused on his message that, to me, called out and condemned racism in this country. This shapeshifting of history-telling and why it happens is at the heart of the book I think you should start reading today:
How the Word is Passed by Dr. Clint Smith

Adapt, Pivot, Backflip and...

...launch a website. As you know, we are all about the in-person but sometimes pandemics happen for a long time, and how we connect must adapt. And so we have launched this online version of our warm, wood and paper Black Bird experience with selections from our curated store sections. You don't need a VR headset, but I am hoping this new design feels like stepping into the store.

Fun Fact #71: Did you know you can order any book from us? It doesn't have to be a book on our shelves. We love special requests, and it typically takes just a couple of days to arrive. 

Thank you for all your continued support. We love being your neighborhood bookstore.