This Lathrup Village bookstore is filling its shelves with African American literature

One local book lover wanted to see herself reflected in the pages of a book

Books can be magical. They can take you to far-off places, back in time, to fantasy lands, or even into the future. They can teach you something about yourself or the world, and one thing that can make books even more powerful is if you can see yourself reflected in the pages.

That’s what one local book lover wanted to see more of; African Americans in literature, so she started her own bookstore.

“I would be one of the kids that would be running to the bookshelf instead of outside to play with mud and dolls,” says Janeice Haynes, the owner of Detroit Book City.

While she has always loved books, they didn’t become her job until later in life.

In 2017 she was working in graphic design and was looking for a change, she decided to return to her old love- books. She decided to frequent several library sales to begin her collection.

“I went in and I saw a lot of African American books that weren’t touched, they were just sitting there,” Haynes says, so she decided to buy them all along with self-help, how-to, and career books.

Now that she had the books, it was time to sell them. Her first event was at Laurel Park Place, but the event did not go over well.

“Nobody bought a book,” Haynes recalls.

She didn’t let that discourage her. Going back to her roots in marketing and graphic design, she decided to throw a big book fair with local independent Black authors. More than 60 authors responded to her call and they held a very successful event at the Northwest Activity Center with more than 2,500 people in attendance.

She knew she was onto something and it wasn’t long before she opened up her own place. Now, she is located on Southfield Road in Lathrup Village.

“You want a book about African Americans, you want to learn about our cultures, our trends, our societies, our histories, you can find it here at Detroit Book City,” says Haynes.

Detroit Book City houses several genres of books including children’s books, new releases, history, fiction, non-fiction, urban romance, and more. They also host several events, many of which are at schools.

For the full story, watch the video above.

Detroit Book City is located at 27260 Southfield Road Suite. 201 in Lathrup Village.


About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.