As previously reported, North London’s iconic black bookshop New Beacon Books was forced to close its doors in the face of the challenges from internet competition and the pandemic. The pioneering shop has championed African and Caribbean literature for 55 years.
However, this cultural mainstay has received a new lease of life through a recent crowdfunding initiative spearheaded by Francesca Gilbert and Nyasha Fraser, which received generous contributions from a widespread community of well-wishers.
When the fund closed on 8 January, New Beacon Books announced that it had surpassed the initial target and had generated a total of £81,122 on behalf of the New Beacon Development Fund, created to help New Beacon Books make headway in this new chapter of its existence.
The stated purposes of the crowdfund include payment of rent and utilities, hiring part-time staff, expanding the bookshop and restoring its publishing platform. This welcome news means there’s a chance that the physical footprint will remain, either at 76 Stroud Green Road, London N4 3EN or elsewhere.
The shop’s management is deliberating about the best way of steering the business into a sustainable future and ensuring these precious funds are used to best effect. In the meantime, New Beacon’s management has urged the community to continue to support its ventures by buying from its website at www.newbeaconbooks.com.