Two women are opening the first Black-owned bookstore in the Twin Cities.

“I feel strongly that now is the time to open it,” Dionne Sims told WCCO.

And it all started with a tweet that went viral on June 15, 2020.  Sims took to the social media platform and wrote, “Minnesota doesn’t have a Black-owned bookstore. I think that’s my new dream.”

That tweet caught the attention of 22-year-old Somali-American Muna Abdulahi, who said it was a dream of hers as well.

“It was one of the most natural things. It just felt really right to be working with her on this,” Sims said.

Black Garnet Books will sell adult and young adult books written by Black and racially diverse authors.

“There are enough Black and racially diverse authors to fill a bookstore,” said Sims. “We don’t have to be just a little shelf in the corner labeled ‘diverse books.’”

Once it opens, the founders hope that the store will also have a community space for activist groups to meet freely and safely.

Black Garnet Books is not the first Black-owned bookstore in Minnesota. Ancestry Books and Uhuru Books both came before Black Garnet Books but have since closed their doors.