By Damion Smalls
Latisha Bradley is sharing her love of books with the Lowcountry through her nascent creation Charleston Books & Brews, an online book shop featuring Black authors and literature. With Charleston Books & Brews, Bradley has established the For The Culture Book Club.
The club has announced an interest meeting for fellow Black bibliophiles in the Charleston area to gather, connect like-minded individuals, discuss ideas for the club, and pick the first book of For The Culture’s monthly meetings, which will start in March and be held on the last Sunday of every month.
The interest meeting will be held Sunday, February 24 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Exquisite Enterprises Inc. (5524 Dutton Avenue, Unit B3, North Charleston). Bradley hopes to gain a better sense of the community with this upcoming interest meeting.
Bradley is attempting to foster a welcoming environment for both Charleston’s Black authors and readers. By providing an outlet for authors to sell books, hold book signings and readings, and interact with readers, Books & Brews can potentially accommodate a growing market with access and proximity. Promoting local Black authors is essential, Bradley states.
Local Black authors of all ages have found success in recent years. Whether it is the historical works of The Citadel professor Damon Fordham, poetry offerings from Ill Vibe The Tribe’s Asiah Mae and Charleston poet laureate Marcus Amaker, business advice from millennial entrepreneur Kimberly Bowman, speculative fiction novels by Eden Royce, or a cocktail culture guide from the Cocktail Bandits, books covering various genres are shining examples of the diversity within Charleston’s Black community. Additionally, “Black Ink: A Charleston African-American Book Festival” has become a popular annual event, which began in 2016.
Charleston Books & Brews will intentionally support African-American women by designing itself as a safe space for Black women. Through interactive workshops, spiritual support, being an advocate for women’s empowerment, Books & Brews aims to utilize an impassioned approach to gain its following.
Bradley would like to partner with coffee shops or breweries in the future to host events. An activist at heart, she has a strong belief in the value of reading in the Black community and is driven to champion Black literature by making it more accessible locally.