Inside Tattered Cover: America's Largest Black-Owned Indie Bookstore
Photo Credit: Unsplash | Seven Shooter

Photo Credit: Unsplash | Seven Shooter

Inside Tattered Cover: America's Largest Black-Owned Indie Bookstore

black owned business , Colorado , Denver , United States
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Dec 14, 2020

It’s funny how life works.

In June, the former owners of Denver’s Tattered Cover found themselves in a difficult spot when they decided not to take a public stance on the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd.

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The public outcry caused the store to cancel events and severed business-ties. Then-owners had to redact the statement in support of the BLM and apologized a few days later.

Before that, the store was already struggling, but the pandemic only exasperated their financial issues.

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In a letter posted on the store’s website, owners Len Vlahos and Kristen Gilligan stated, “The impact of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic made it clear that Tattered Cover was going to need not only new management, but an infusion of capital. The difficult sales environment has not kept pace with the business’s mounting debt.”

Fast forward to December 2020; the co-owners decided to sell the store to Bended Page LLC – a group of investors led by David Back and Kwame Spearman. Spearman, who is Black, will serve as the CEO, ultimately making the bookstore the largest Black-owned independent bookstore, as first reported in NPR.

“It’s kind of a cool twist of events and something that we obviously hope to add to the dialogue that BLM and some of the other movements have begun,” said Spearman.

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