Support Black-owned Businesses in Chicago: Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery

We have featured this bookstore/gallery in previous blog posts but Semicolon deserves a post all their own. Located in Fulton Market, it’s easy to simply characterize this area for it’s trendy restaurants and high-end retailers. It is also the home of Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery. Opened in 2016 and led by DL Mullen, it is the only Black Woman-owned bookstore in Chicago. In May, they raised funds to provide free books for CPS students stuck at home and have now become a hub for food donations and distribution for those affected by grocery store closures and CPS suspending food services. When you support Black-owned businesses, you not only support the individuals but the community, our communities as well. They are an inspiration and deserve boundless support. 

So if you are interested in anti-racist and decolonization texts, make sure you check out Semicolon first. Now is the time to listen, learn, and take action where and when you can. We’ve included important texts to consider as we move forward, both fiction and non-fiction. Be sure to support Black-owned businesses and black writers now, but we must support them in the long run. We’ve also provided a list of other Black-owned bookstores you can also shop from as well. 


How to Be an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi

Are Prisons Obsolete? – Angela Y. Davis

So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism – Robin DiAngelo, Michael Eric Dyson (Foreword by)

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Michelle Alexander

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir – Patrisse Khan-Cullors, asha bandele, Angela Davis (Foreword by)


The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison

Parable of the Sower – Octavia E. Butler

Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi

The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

The Stree – Ann Petry

How Long ’til Black Future Month? – N. K. Jemisin

Here are more black-owned bookstores to support around the country!

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