Source of Knowledge Bookstore in Newark's book club thriving despite pandemic

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- It is a gem of knowledge, a treasure chest of information. The Source of Knowledge Bookstore in Newark has become a major resource for anyone seeking to find details of black life in America and beyond.

"Here in the city of Newark, it's very important that our girls have a reflection of themselves and this place is just that, it gives them a reflection of themselves," said Dawn Hayes, a customer.

The store maintained its book club virtually during the pandemic shutdown. But 6-year-old Lucas finished his book club project.

"It's a four-page book, that's all," said Lucus Austin, young author.
Lucus Austin

Lucus read "The Book Sounder," then made up his own story.

"There are some characters, there were three characters that were taken out, there was one put in, you know it's realistic fiction," he said.

Oh by the way, that smart 6-year-old was promoted to the third grade. But with so much going on in the country, many people like Lucas and mom are looking for ways to explore the black experience, the bookstore is a place to teach kids, adults and scholars in this time of change.

"I really like this book store cause it brings out a lot of qualities of black people," Justin Shepard said.

"They have so many books here that can teach us history and help improve the current climate that we're going through now," said Keith Twyman, father.

There is so much to learn.

"It's a story of us always succeeding in spite, of all the wonderful things we've done as a people," said Tasha Austin, a reader.

Many are searching for facts they never learned before. Even school districts are reaching out.

"Beause they want to get books for their teachers, their staff to read over the summer," said Madani Barnwell-George, Co-Owner "Source of Knowledge Bookstore."

"If the true history of African people was taught in this school system, I believe that the whole world would have been completely different," said Dexter George, Co-Owner "Source of Knowledge Bookstore."

Graduate students from Yale, started a group called "Turn The Page,"' and they use the bookstore to explore and promote black literature.

"Part of 'Turn the Page' is not only providing our readers with a reading list, but our organization tries to create spaces where our readers can engage and learn, learn together and process their learning and be in community," said Edwin Rosales, "Turn The Page."

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