January 26, 2023

Social Media Users Raise $20K To Save Black-Owned Bookstore

Black people are strong but even more powerful when they come together. This is a statement Nia-Tayler Clark, founder of BLACKLIT, can heavily relate to. 

After receiving an unexpected eviction notice, social media users united to help Nia-Tayler Clark save her bookstore from closure.

The online book community founded in 2019 initially began as a project in Clark’s tiny one-bedroom apartment. In a short time, the project blossomed and became the first Black-owned bookstore in Dallas, Texas. 

“BLACKLIT started in 2019, in my tiny one-bedroom apartment, with my toddler on my hip. It was built with my little teacher’s salary, a few part-time jobs, and tones of prayer,” Nia-Tayler, founder of BLACKLIT, explained

“The turning point for me was when I had a student tell me “I don’t read,” it broke my heart, but it also opened my eyes. It watered the seed. I was now officially on a mission to close the literacy gap and increase representation.” 

Founder of BlackLit, Nia Tayler-Clark

Clark’s dreams of creating a powerful hub for Black readers to come together and connect came to an abrupt halt on January 22nd when she faced a $27,000 eviction notice. 

After securing the building for the bookstore but not being able to open it to the public for the first few months, the business fell behind on bills and was left fighting to keep itself afloat. 

“Never in a million years did I think I would be making this post, but here we are. Our landlord has presented us with a notice to vacate and, as of just a few hours ago, has changed the locks. We just lost everything,” Clark shared in an Instagram post

BLACKLIT’s online community stepped in to save the day. Two days later, Clark announced that she had managed to raise $20,000 through her online campaign with the help of her followers online.  


🥹 Thank you all so much! From the bottom of my heart. The full update is on IG but I just wanted to let you all know that I am so so grateful. Long story short: I pick up my keys tomorrow! And, they gave me 10 days to raise the $7000. #blacklit #blackbooktok #blackbookstore #dfwthingstodo #dfwblackownedbusiness #christiantiktok #godcamethrough #ifundwomen

♬ MotIvaTiOn – .

“We are officially back open! Thank you all so much. I’m still trying to put my gratitude into words, but I wanted to at least make this post to show you all the power of community,” Clark said in an updated Instagram post. 

Clark’s mission is to eliminate the lack of representation in literature and get Black youth reading again. Through BLACKLIT, she hopes Black book lovers and authors will find a safe space to share inclusive stories they are passionate about. 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.