For author and TV commentator Marc Lamont Hill, books were a defining part of his childhood, which makes the closing of bookstores worldwide all the more devastating. In his So What Do You Do? interview, Hill discusses the impact of literature on society and how that has changed in a world with fewer bookstores.
“Hue-Man Bookstore, one of the major black bookstores in Harlem, just closed. There’s a great journalistic story there but there’s also a story, I think, that connects to my academic interests in literacy, public space, identity and political economy,” he said. “I grew up in a neighborhood where bookstores taught me what it meant to be young and black and male in the age of crack. That shit mattered. So, I’m writing a book right now called Knowledge of Self that looks at the role of the black literary counterpublic, the space where literature is at the center of resistance work.
— Andrea Hackett