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Harriets Bookshop opened on Feb. 2020. Photo: Harrietsbookshop.com
Harriets Bookshop opened on Feb. 2020. Photo: Harrietsbookshop.com

Harriet’s Bookshop in Fishtown will soon upgrade with a bigger location

Owner Jeannine Cook is also hosting a press conference later this month as a Harriet Tubman Day Bill is being introduced in Congress.

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Jeannine A. Cook, owner of Harriet’s Bookshop, recently announced on Instagram she will be moving to a larger location in Fishtown.

The new space is almost three times bigger than Harriet’s current location, and will give customers enough space to engage with one another. Cook is also excited to add more books and merchandise to the new space.

The bookstore will stay open at their current location throughout the renovation process of their new home. The renovations are set to begin by the beginning of August.

The new space will include multiple floors, indoor and outdoor green space, and meeting rooms.

It will also represent Harriet Tubman, an African-American abolitionist and activist who escorted over 300 slaves to freedom in the span of almost 10 years.

“It will be designed to historically replicate the time that Harriett Tubman spent in Philadelphia in the 1800s,” Cook said in a recent interview with AL DÍA News.

The new location will also act as a museum and a monument.

The Black-owned business has been using its space as a haven for women authors and artists since its opening in February 2020.

It was forced to close down a month later when the COVID-19 pandemic came to Philadelphia in the middle of March.

Despite closing the storefront, Cook was able to find a way to promote the books of countless authors and migrated to an online platform. She was also able to sell books in front of her business to show pedestrians the countless novels written by women and BIPOC.

She was also able to donate a generous amount of books to children all over the country.

For Cook, reading is dear to her heart, as her mother was an immigrant from Trinidad and a librarian who went blind when Cook and her sister were young. Both would take turns reading to their mother, and the situation led her to pursue a college education.

In addition to their new location, Cook will also be hosting a press conference announcing Harriett Tubman Day’s Bill heading to Congress at the end of July. Congressman Brendan Boyle will also be in attendance.

“I believe strongly that this holiday gets to be a stand for repairing the harm of slavery,” said Cook.

Despite the many tragedies last year brought, Harriet’s Bookshop is still a thriving location for locals and tourists who love literature and history.

Although there were many times where Cook felt defeated, she grew resilient, and opened a second location in Collingswood N.J. named after another African American activist: Ida B. Wells.

As Cook’s businesses continue to flourish, she is excited to welcome more locals into her new space once it is up and running.

“We are just doing our part to repair the harm and usher in a new way. We are happy to serve society in this capacity,” she said.

To donate to Harriet’s Bookshop, visit its GoFundMe page.

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