Community library championing Black literature opens

A community library celebrating Black authors has been launched as part of the Black British book festival.

The Black British book festival, in collaboration with publishers Pan Macmillan, has unveiled the Croydon Black Book Community Library, at the BME Forum, in the heart of the Whitgift Centre in North End, Croydon.

Andrew Brown, chief executive of the BME Forum, said: “The Croydon Black Book Community Library is more than just a reading space; it’s a hub for nurturing understanding, promoting learning, and embracing the rich tapestry of Black literature. 

The library is free for anyone in the community (Picture: Selina Brown)

“Our mission is to enhance well-being within our communities at the grassroots level, ultimately enriching lives in this diverse and vibrant borough.”

Anyone in Croydon has free access to the library’s extensive collection of books authored by Black British writers across an array of genres.

More than 200 Croydon residents gathered at the opening event on October 24.

The library has been opened in collaboration with publishers Pan Macmillan (Picture: Selina Brown)

Selina Brown, founder and chief executive of the Black British book festival, said:  “The Black British book festival is thrilled to present the Croydon Black Book Community Library. 

“This library embodies our dedication to fostering inclusivity and providing a platform for diverse voices to be heard. 

“We firmly believe that access to literature should be a fundamental right for all, and this library represents a significant step towards realising that vision. 

The library extensive collection of books are all written by Black authors (Picture: Selina Brown)

“It will serve as a vital resource for the community, promoting unity and understanding through the celebration of Black culture and literature.”

The library has also seen a significant contribution of books from Pan Macmillan.

Tunde Agbalaya, from Pan Macmillan, said: “Pan Macmillan is proud to back the Croydon Black Book Community Library. 

The library has officially launched in the heart of the Whitgift Centre and is now open to the public (Picture: Selina Brown)

“We firmly believe in the power of literature to inspire, educate, and connect individuals from diverse backgrounds. 

“This initiative perfectly aligns with our commitment to promoting inclusivity and broad access to a wide array of voices in literature. We are honoured to be part of this transformative project.”

Pictured top: More than 200 people attended the launch event at the Whitgift Centre (Picture: Selina Brown)

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