New Black-Owned Bookstore, MahoganyBooks, Opens in D.C.

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Black History in the making! MahoganyBooks, located at 1231 Good Hope Road, on the Southeast side of D.C. in Anacostia Arts Center, is the first Black-owned bookstore opened east of the Anacostia River in over two decades.

Though the store actually opened in November of 2017, the owners wanted to celebrate its auspicious grand opening during Black History Month, on February 10th.

Founders, husband and wife Derrick and Ramunda Young, were inspired to name the store MahoganyBooks by their thirteen-year-old daughter, Mahagony Young.

Initially launched in 2007, MahoganyBooks was primarily an online distributor. Built on the Youngs’ combined background of “over twenty years of experience in the retail book industry.” MahoganyBooks is an example of the Youngs’ dedication to Black youth in the D.C. Metro area and is infused with the urgent and straightforward mission: “To meet the literary needs of readers in search of books written for, by, or about people of the African Diaspora.”  

“It’s not just a bookstore; we’re changing perceptions of how we see ourselves,” said Ramunda Young. “It [also] feels like our legacy.”

In addition to the name, Little Mahogany Young also inspired the logo, capturing the essence of a photo her mother had taken of Mahogany as she sat reading Ntozake Shange’s children’s book, Coretta Scott.

The Young’s have been recognized as the ‘go-to bookseller for community book events’ in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City and were honored by EmPower Magazine as one of 2014’s emPower Players.

If you’re planning to be in the D.C. area, show some support by checking out this phenomenal Black-owned bookstore, created for the purpose of empowering Black communities through literature and community support. You can also visit MahoganyBooks online.

photo credit: Ramunda Young