booksellers

Turning the Page: Leimert Park Bookstore Makes Knowledge-Seekers Feel Loved

NBC Universal, Inc.

In the heart of Leimert Park, you might find its heartbeat inside Eso Won, an independent, black-owned bookstore.

"You come here into this bookstore and you feel welcomed. You feel loved," customer Monique said. "I feel loved. It has a community atmosphere."

Monique has been shopping here for years, and she says every page of every book has a purpose.

"It has a large collection of some of the best books when it comes to African and African-American history," she said.

Like many small businesses right now, this Black-owned bookstore, which has been around for decades, finally had the chance to reopen last week.

And they’ve been busy.

"And I think it was Saturday, we started seeing the real orders online," said James Fugate, co-owner.

People grow up and they don’t really understand. There’s a whole other side to the story.

Eso Won co-owner James Fugate

Fugate says a lot of people, like Malaysia Cooper, have started coming in to better educate themselves about race and culture.

“Seeing the stories, it made me realize how uninformed I was about my history," Cooper said.

Cooper says she came to Eso Won because she knows she’d find a good place to start.

“Like, even though these events are a surprise to many people, I really wanted to get more information about how this has been happening," Cooper said.

John Boyega attended a Black Lives Matter protest in Hyde Park, London, on Wednesday. The "Star Wars" actor delivered an emotional speech about racism, telling demonstrators "how painful it is to be reminded ever day that your race means nothing."

“We don’t talk about the real history of this country," Fugate said.

In this country, as long the conversation about race and culture goes on, Eso Won hopes to help, page by page.

“People grow up and they don’t really understand. There’s a whole other side to the story," Fugate said.

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