WordUpBooks's blog

En defensa de las vidas negras


Word Up está orgullosa de estar en comunidad con lxs activistas y organizadorxs que se levantan y defiendan las vidas negras. Nuestra tienda actual, ubicada en la esquina de Amsterdam y la calle 165, se encuentra en la parte sur de Washington Heights, en un edificio que es propiedad de la organización sin fin de lucro CLOTH, fundada por Lucille Bulger, una mujer negra frustrada con la falta de recursos para la gente negra en su comunidad; a dos cuadras del histórico Audubon Ballroom, donde Malcolm X fue asesinado; a nueve cuadras de la venerable Sister’s Uptown Bookstore, la librería de propiedad de personas negras más antigua en la Ciudad de Nueva York; a tres cuadras del apartamento donde José “Kiko” García fue asesinado por la policía, lo cual condujo a rebeliones alrededor de Washington Heights en 1992.

In Defense Of Black Lives

Anti-Racist Resources

Anti-Racist Resources for Young People

Recursos antiracistas en español


Word Up is proud to be in community with activists and organizers that stand up and defend Black lives. Our current storefront, located at the corner of Amsterdam and 165th St., is in the southern part of Washington Heights—in a building owned by the nonprofit CLOTH, founded by Lucille Bulger, a Black woman who was frustrated with the lack of resources for Black people in her community; two blocks from the historic Audubon Ballroom, where Malcolm X was assassinated; nine blocks from the venerable Sister’s Uptown Bookstore, the oldest Black-owned bookstore in New York City; and three blocks from the apartment building where Jose “Kiko” Garcia was murdered by police, leading to rebellions throughout Washington Heights in 1992

The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Maurice Gordon, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Jamel Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Allan Feliz, Santiago “Chago” Villanueva, and far too many others are part of the more than 400-year-old history of police brutality and other forms of racist violence against Black people in this country.

Big ups/much love to those who have been on the ground and rallying together around strong calls to action. Legislators are pushing for the Safer NY Act. In Minneapolis, they are discussing disbanding the police. Millions of people have taken to the streets.

That said, this work is ongoing.

Our commitment as a collective and as a community space over the last nine years has been one of continuous education and open discussion. We are wrestling together with how systems can be reimagined through defunding the policedemanding reparationsending prison culture and the carceral state, and building better accountability and housing and healthcare systems. We want to be a part of building a more equitable future. 

Below are some ways you can join us:

Clap When You Land Virtual Book Launch Recap

By Carolina Valencia 

Thank you so much to everyone who attended last week’s virtual book launch of Clap When You Land with Elizabeth Acevedo and Melania-Luisa Marte. There were so many of you showing your love in the chat that it actually slowed down the video!


El Gran Combo Wrap-Up


By Carolina Valencia

Thank you so much to all the readers and participants who came through to la gran fiesta virtual con Jaquira Díaz, Melissa Rivero, Carolina De Robertis, Lilliam Rivera, Angie Cruz, Natalia Sylvester, y Lupita Aquino, in support of local bookstores during these times! We at Word Up are so grateful the event went so well and felt the love from all the readers.

As the brainchild of featured author Angie Cruz, El Gran Combo came together in a few days in support of Latinx authors and three independent bookstores across NYC—The Lit. Bar, Mil Mundos Books, and Word Up Community Bookshop Librería Comunitaria. Personally, I had the great opportunity of helping set up this event and designing the graphics for it. I had previously worked with Angie on Word Up’s program Uptown Reads, which featured Dominicana as its first pick back in the Fall of 2019 and knew this event would be great due to her involvement.

From the chat, we could tell you were all craving a recap of the many golden nuggets dropped by the authors, so here it is!

~April 1 is Census Day~

April 1 is Census Day! If you haven't already filled out the census, please do at my2020census.gov, then let us know that you did here.

* * *

With all the news understandably focused on coronavirus, why are we bothering to remind our community to fill out this once-in-a-decade survey? Word Up collective member Taylor Lampe (MPH, Epidemiology, '19) explains:   The 2020 Census is still happening in the midst of coronavirus, and the U.S. Census Bureau is committed to safely collecting responses to ensure that everyone is counted. Many of us may be wondering, though, why does the 2020 Census matter when there are so many pressing coronavirus needs? In fact, completing the 2020 Census is a critical step that we can all take to support coronavrius response—and here’s why!


Uptown Check-In, the Return of Story Time, ¡y más!

[See the full 3/27/20 newsletter—with books & online events!—here.]

Hi neighbors, How are you? We hope that you are staying home if you can. We miss you and would like to check in. So, we are having an Uptown Check-In today on Zoom, 8pm–9pm! No agenda, just BYOB and stop by whenever you can for that hour. At 8pm, click this link to join. Because we could all use more togetherness, we are doing our best to bring back events. Join us for the return of Word Up Story Time this Saturday @ 11am! On Instagram Live, Emmanuel Abreu will be reading the bilingual children's picture book that the Word Up Collective created together in 2013, Home at Word Up: A Story of a Bookshop in Washington Heights/En casa en Word Up:

#StayHome #QuedarmeEnCasa

[See the full 3/25/2020 newsletter—with books and more!—here.]

Hi Word Up family, We haven't been able to see you at the shop since we closed (temporarily!) on March 13th. We hope you all are staying home if you can, and taking care of yourselves and your loved ones. These are tough times right now and we're all trying to stay sane—please call 888-NYC-WELL if you are feeling stressed or emotional. As a collective, we're working to compile info that will complement what is already available out there, including aggregating educational resources en español.

Word Up store hours suspended through March 31

Community is in our name. And while we normally want to spread love the Uptown way . . . right now, “community spread” of COVID-19 is precisely what we need to quash. While one may seem healthy and/or asymptomatic, it’s still possible for them to put others at risk. And we don’t want to do that—to our fellow collective members, to our visitors and customers, to our events organizers and authors and community partners. While we want to remain open as a resource for our communities, we would be potentially compromising the health of those same communities. . . . It would be a huge violation of our own safe space policy!

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