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Bookstore highlights Black literature

Socialight Society

Nyshell Lawrence is the owner and founder of the Socialight Society bookstore on Lansing's west side. Courtesy photo

Juanita Kelly-Hill

By Juanita Kelly-Hill
Staff Writer

Socialight Society is an independent Black woman-owned bookstore dedicated to spotlighting literature created by women of color. 

Located at 5454 W. Saginaw Hwy. on Lansing’s west side, the business is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Socialight Society was founded by Nyshell Lawrence in 2021 due to the lack of Black literature presented at local bookstores.

“I saw a need in our community when I went on a date with my husband a few years ago to start a local bookstore,” Lawrence said.

“I went over to the section that was labeled women of color and was very disappointed with the choices that were offered. We spent the rest of the night talking about a way that I could create a space that would help Black women feel seen and celebrated.”

Lawrence said she feels the bookstore holds great value in the Lansing community by being an independent bookstore that is mission based and creates space for diversity, education, celebration and community. 

“Our mission is to celebrate Black women and Black literature,” Lawrence said. “We curate classic, contemporary and children’s stories that are created by women of color who are often underrepresented in traditional bookstores.”

Socialight Society finds multiple ways to give back to the Lansing community by collecting donations and hosting book giveaways for children who may not have access to read books with characters that represent them.

The bookstore hosts monthly events that include story time for young children, influential guest speakers, a book club, book signings and pop-up shops.

There will be a community book giveaway for 1,000 Black Girl books partnered with Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine on Sunday, Feb. 5 at Socialight Society. 

For more information on the business, click here. 

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