- Published: 22 June 2020 22 June 2020
When Alissa Redmond, the relatively new owner of South Main Book Company in Salisbury, North Carolina, announced that she supported the removal of the Confederate monument "Fame" she found her bookstore added to a Facebook page called "Boycott Salisbury," and its list of businesses to boycott "into bankruptcy."
The page, since taken down, had some unintended consequences. The community rallied around the targeted businesses, and more than a few local businesses asked to be included on the list, stating their solidarity with their fellow entrepreneurs that had been singled out for boycotts. Redmond said the day "Boycott Salisbury" went live was the most profitable one the store had since she took over ownership thanks to the Salisbury citizens who came out to support their local shops and restaurants.
South Main Book Company was designated an essential business in the COVID-19 crisis for its role in providing educational supplies and books to the community. Among other things, Redmond regularly stocked up the Little Free Libraries at schools in the county, and worked with the school system to promote reading for students during the pandemic.
Now the store is looking to encourage the momentum created by the local controversy. "I'm doubling down and donating antiracist titles to the Little Free Libraries of Rowan County this summer," stated Redmond. The store has create a GoFundMe campaign and says for every $500 that is raised, South Main Book Company will donate 100 copies of antiracist books to the Little Free Libraries in the county. They have already ordered over 800 books, which include:
ANTIRACIST BABY by Ibram X. Kendi
THIS BOOK IS ANTIRACIST by Tiffany Jewell
GHOST BOYS by Jewell Parker Rhodes
THE POWER BOOK by Roxanne Gay et al
WHY WE CAN'T WAIT by Martin Luther King, Jr.
STAMPED: RACISM, ANTIRACISM, AND YOU
by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
WHO WAS ROSA PARKS by McDonough, Yona
Read independently, support black-owned bookstores, and shop local now so you can shop local later.