Growing up, finding books about Black girls written by Black women wasn't easy.
"When I was growing up, reading was a really huge part of how I got to understand myself," Asha Grant said. "There's a huge disservice that our entire community gets when there is an entire group of people who are missing from that narrative."
As an adult, Grant participated in the Free Black Women's library, lugging hundreds and hundreds of books written by Black women in her car.
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She was bringing books written by Black women and sharing them in community spaces. Through this organization, she got the idea for a bookshop featuring Black authors, with stories created by and about Black women and non-binary people.
She even found the perfect location -- an empty shop in Inglewood -- the city where Grant grew up. But then the pandemic hit.
"I was like there is no way I can do this ... this is something I’m going to have to put off," she said.
But Grant decided to create a GoFundMe with a goal of raising $65,000 to help establish the Salt Eaters Bookshop.
Within one week, all of the money was raised -- and more. The support was electrifying, Grant says, fueled in large part by the Black Lives Matter movement.
She secured the store location in Inglewood -- naming it the Salt Eaters Bookshop after a favorite novel. Interior designer Grace Min offered her services for free and a local artist volunteered to paint a mural.
"I’ve been describing it as a resting ground for us to just put down our things," Grant said.
It's not lost on Grant that all this was made possible by the help of strangers, and it's her hope when the bookshop opens in February that the authors, the books, the characters and the space become familiar to everyone.
"We all benefit from learning and being exposed to the stories of people that don’t look like us."
To donate to the Salt Eaters Bookshop, click here.