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One Step Closer to Becoming a National Preserved Treasure: Detroit’s First Black Owned Bookstore Secures $15K Preservation Grant

The site of Detroit’s first Black-owned bookstore is one step closer to becoming a national preserved treasure. Vaughn’s Bookstore, once located on the city’s west side on Dexter Ave., is the recipient of a $15,000 preservation grant.

The grant was issued through the National Park Service’s Underrepresented Communities Grant program, which has awarded nearly $3 million since its inception in 2014.

Vaughn’s Bookstore after the 1967 Rebellion (Bentley Historical Society)

The shop’s owner is former Michigan House of Representatives member Edward “Ed” Vaughn. For 40 years, Vaughn owned and operated the bookstore. “We were a game-changer,” said the former executive to Detroit’s first Black mayor, Coleman Alexander Young.

“There had not been a bookstore here before, and of course I got into the business because I was looking for a book called ‘A Hundred Years of Lynchings’ by Ginsberg, and I was told downtown that they didn’t have the book in stock and I decided that I’d see if I could find it and then when I found it and my friends at the post office said that they’d like to read that and other Black books, so I began to order them and sell them out of the trunk of my car.”

Read full story at Atlanta Black Star here.

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