The Bookshelf, Young Texas Reader, Blog Notes, & Texana Youtube Channel

The Texas Bookshelf is for single, specific books' reviews and author interviews . The Texas Parlor ranges more broadly than my other websites. The Young Texas Reader focuses on the youngest through teenagers. Texas Blog Notes surveys blogs of historical and literary interest. I've started a Will's Texana Youtube collecting channel where 1,000 videos are collected in 100 playlists . Find Will in Houston or at willstexana {at} yahoodotcom

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shrine of the Black Madonna Bookstore in Houston

Happy 25th anniversary!

Asad Walker of the Defender newspaper reported on the 25th anniversary of the Shrine Cultural Center and Bookstore in Houston.  It's a good long article, an extract reads:

"Part of the largest Black-owned bookstore chain in the nation, Houston's Shrine Bookstore opened in December 1986. What was once a decaying bowling alley in South Park, was renovated and transformed into the 23,500 square feet "crown jewel" of the trio of cultural centers owned by the Pan African Orthodox Christian Church. The other two stores are located in Atlanta and Detroit, the city where the first one opened its doors in 1970.

Born at the tail-end of the Black Power Era, the Detroit store gave African American authors a place to sell their books long before mainstream stores began carrying such items.

"The original name of the first Cultural Center was the Sudan Import Specialty Shop," recalled Anika Sala, Detroit native and manager of the Shrine Bookstore in Houston. "Our church founder, Reverend Albert B. Cleage Jr. assigned his sister, Barbara Martin to create a center for Black culture, heritage and self-determination. What Martin did was start an incredible legacy that has celebrated our history and made some history of its own." "  Read more at

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