When light shines out of the darkness you just have to pay attention; Derrick and Ramunda Young are a shining light in Anacostia. Last Thursday evening, Ramunda Young was honored by The Root as one of their 100 Most Influential African Americans of 2018. An award that is definitely deserved, as both Derrick and Ramunda have been highlighted in local and national press from Vanity Fair to East of the River Magazine. In less than a year this inspirational couple has turned their online bookstore into a nationally recognized and rapidly growing business venture.
MahoganyBooks was approached by Camille Kashaka, Director of the Anacostia Arts Center as she searched for a bookstore that would bring a much-needed resource to the residents of Southeast. As quoted in the Washington Post, Kashaka’s ‘DC Dream Day‘ would include a visit to a black owned bookstore, she desired the same option for the youth East of the river. The Anacostia Arts Center is a visual and performing arts space, encompassing the small business needs of black entrepreneurs. Over 25,000 visitors walk through the doors each year to enjoy music, art, live performances and shopping, all while supporting black business owners and creatives.
MahoganyBooks, opened on Black Friday, 2017 in the Anacostia Arts Center adding to the full roster of other Black owned businesses within the space. As external influences on the commercial and residential development of the neighborhood aim to change the essence of Anacostia, the Black owned businesses within the Arts Center continue to grow; they prove that small business ownership is possible and profitable.
“The goal is to incubate these businesses enough that they can then move to their own brick and mortar location hopefully in Southeast” – says Kashaka
MahoganyBooks is located inside the Anacostia Arts Center at 1231 Good Hope Road SE Washington DC. Visit their website for more information and events.