The Bronx Bookstore Delivering Books To You

Soul Screwed Series
bronx bound booksLatanya Devaughn
A proud Bronx resident Latanya DeVaughn understands that every community benefits tremendously from a bookstore. It is her life's mission to see to that even if that store is converted from a bus.

As a juvenile, Latanya gained inspiration from her grandmother who taught her the importance of knowledge and a passion for reading.

“My grandmother was an educator in the South Bronx,...She read to the people in our community who couldn’t read for themselves. She read prescriptions, leases…some people’s lives depended on the information she gave them. She’d come home [from her teaching job] and she still had this, you know, this calling to help people in our community.”

Being a child in the Bronx around the 1980s was a challenge for children like Latanya who desired a novel, notably one that portrayed her. She was forced to take an hour-long train ride one way to get to the nearest bookstore for content that she wanted.

“When I was a kid, if I wanted a book on Maya Angelou, or James Baldwin, or anyone Black, I really had to search for it.”

Realizing that owning a bookstore was possible after the opening of a new store by her son's teacher, DeVaughn started her journey and followed her dreams. Unfortunately, the impacts of gentrification were affected rental prices and pushed Latanya to recognize that a brick and mortar shop was not the best route to take. She started walking and selling brand-new and used books, and distributed donated books to shelters and organizations. She also tutored adults and their children during writing classes, including at shelters across the Bronx area. She had friends who helped move books and supplies in their personal vehicles aiding in the success of Latanya’s pop-ups. With the aid of a small business grant, Latanya was capable of buying a pre-owned shuttle bus. With great joy, with some minor tweaks and touch-ups, she was able to transform the bus into a bookstore. Since Bronx Bound Books originated in 2019, Latanya has given over 7,000 free books throughout several Bronx communities.

“It’s more than just a bookstore,” Latanya says. “It’s a vehicle for us to create more programming, more access to books, and really be there for our community.”

Comments / 1

Published by

My mission is to provide my audience with a fresh view-point on everyday news and issues. I plan to say what most people dare to only think and reveal what most never researched while motivating every individual a long the way. I will also put up daily motivational pieces of poetry. My audience can feel free to write me, request topics, and submit opinions. They can also write to get my stand on personal thoughts or situations.

Houston, TX

More from Soul Screwed Series

Should I Forgive and Forget? A Mother is Displaced Due to Helping Sister

My sister and her boyfriend were having financial difficulties and she needed a place to stay with her baby. Me being the older sibling, I of course opened my home to her and her family. I was not financially stable, had five kids in a two-bedroom, and was working crazy shifts. Still, I felt that despite what I was going through I wasn't going to leave my sister and nephew out on the streets homeless. We would all just have to figure it out and struggle together. After two months my landlord started complaining about my sister being on the property and not on the lease ( despite multiple other residents doing the same thing) and he evicted me. With two weeks to vacate the property, I desperately went searching for another apartment or duplex. During this time my lights started getting turned off and times became hard as a mother. My sister in turn went to a relative's house with her boyfriend and baby most nights to sleep comfortably. Two days before I was to vacate the property, I called my people because my sister hadn't been back to the house for about five days. My younger cousin told me that she had moved in with them and was staying there. Confused I hung up the phone and went to check the back room where she was sleeping and sure enough all of her belongings were gone. I called my sister and asked her why she didn't tell me she found somewhere to stay or at least offer for us to follow. She in turn told me that my relative told her that her little family was welcome but I couldn't come with my kids. I couldn't believe she disregarded my children's welfare.

Read full story

Her Sister Had a Baby with The Father of Her 3 Kids. Her Mother Says Let Bygones Be Bygones

Black and White Wall Mounted TelephoneRodnae Productions. Hey SSS. I am not writing for someone to tell if I am right or wrong, but rather I just want to see other people's point of view on the matter. I, unfortunately, got into some trouble a few years back and was sentenced to state jail for fourteen months at The Lucille Plane State Jail in Texas. I had three children at the time, so my parents and father of my kids were the guardians during my sentence. It was hard to be in jail, especially during the holidays because all l could do was think about my children and miss them. My family would send me letters, pictures, and money. I would also call home occasionally with the opportunity to speak to everyone at once. One day, about seven months into my sentence, after I received a letter during a mail call, I knew my world was ruined beyond my current situation being at rock bottom. My father had written me a letter breaking the news that my sister was pregnant with her first child and it was my boyfriend who fathered the child. She claimed to be in love with him and was set on having the child. I must have cried harder than I had ever cried in my life. I rushed to a cell block payphone to call home. My mother tried to calm me down and tried to reason with me saying that I must forgive my sister. I had no understanding. My father on the other hand sided with me, and could forcibly be heard asking my sister how could she do this to me? you can only imagine that my time had just become a little harder. With my authorization, my father picked my children up and kept them for the remainder of my time. After my release, there was nothing I felt needed to be said to either party. I had used the remainder of my time to cope and accept what I was returning home to. My sister indeed had the baby, and I in return do not communicate with her or my children's father. It has been about six years since this happened and my parents have reached out and asked me to consider participating in a family gathering that involves my sister. I have declined and told them that I will visit after the festivities when they returned home or that they were welcome to join my household in our festivities. My mother is arguing that it's time to let bygones be bygones and I disagree. I am the type to never disrespect parents but it's really starting to make me mad. How would you move forward after something like this? -#2045678.

Read full story

Comments / 0