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Over the past five years, the American Booksellers Association has witnessed a resurgence in independent bookselling, yet the number of bookstores owned by African-Americans has continued to decline. Between 2002 and 2012, twothirds of black-owned bookstores closed, according to statistics compiled by Troy Johnson, founder of the AfricanAmerican Literature Book Club (AALBC). Of the roughly 400 stores that remained, more than half closed in 2013 and 2014. The closings continued in 2015, leaving only 67 black-owned bookstores at the end of January 2016. Despite tough times, booksellers and other entrepreneurs aren’t giving up. It was a personal connection that also...

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