North Central Austin Edition | October 2022

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE OWNERS: Nonction for kids: “THE TRYOUT ,” Christina Soontornvat (local Austin author) Nonction: “TEACHING BLACK HISTORY TO WHITE PEOPLE ,” Leonard N. Moore (UT Professor) Fiction (LGBTQ+): “DON’T CRY FOR ME ,” Daniel Black

The storefront is located on Burnet Road.


Black Pearl Books focused on books that highlight diversity and inclusion.



Katrina and Eric Brooks started Black Pearl Books after struggling to nd books for their children in elementary school.


Black Pearl Books Husband-and-wife duo brings banned literature to Austin W hen Katrina and Eric Brooks had children in elementary school, one By early June of 2020, business for Black Pearl began to take o following protests over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. “There were a lot of people BY KATY MCAFEE

books in Texas. “We’re not focused on New York Times best sellers; we’re focused on diversity and inclusion,” Eric said. In addition to selling books and merchandise, Black Pearl Books also uses its space to host events for local nonprots that address literacy gaps in the community, as children with lower literacy rates are more likely to drop out of high school as teenagers, Eric said. They have also started their own nonprot targeting literacy, Put It In A Book, in which they work with school librarians and teachers to help introduce students to redacted books they might otherwise not be able to read.

Customers relax in the window-front space.


Black Pearl Books 7112 Burnet Road, Austin 512-902-9717 Hours: Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. closed Sun.-Mon.

of the biggest struggles they said they faced was nding books with characters who looked like them. “It was always so much eort to provide them enough books representing people of color,” said Eric, who owns Black Pearl Books alongside his wife, Katrina. When the couple moved to Austin in 2017, they saw an opportunity to share more inclusive books with the community. In 2019, the couple opened Black Pearl Books as a pop-up shop and online store.

coming in to pick up books and get more knowledge about social justice in this country,” Eric said. After nearly three years of growing their business and waiting for the pandemic to subside, Black Pearl Books upgraded in February to a free-standing brick and mortar on 7112 Burnet Road, Austin. Since then, Black Pearl Books has been serving its growing customer base with a range of novels— including a few of the 801 banned


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