Inside Adanne, Brooklyn’s New Bookstore Celebrating African American Culture

In early May, Okpo opened a bookstore, Adanne, in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn, which offers the same warm approach to learning that Okpo offers to students in its classes. It is named after Okpo’s mother, Pauline, whose nickname is Adanne, which means “she is her mother’s daughter” in Igbo. “While I was creating the store aesthetic, my friends and family would visit me and we always ended up talking about our current issues. We are talking about education, real estate, financial literacy and many other topics. The books I chose for the store inspired these conversations. The store is a celebration of African American culture, with walls adorned with album covers such as “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” and shelves filled with “Defend Black Womanhood” t-shirts.

Photo: Courtesy of Ashley Wilson

This isn’t the first time Okpo’s work and storytelling skills have been inspired by his family. In 2009, when Okpo was 22 years old, she and her sister Lizzie founded the William Okpo brand, named after their father, which “irones his clothes every day, even when he mows the lawn he is looking at. fashion “. Both parents are immigrants from Nigeria who work for New York City. “Fashion tells a story that we can read visually, it’s the story of this designer,” Okpo notes. “When it comes to written storytelling, you read the story and also examine the identity of the author. “

Adanne will lead weekly and monthly workshops focused on catalysing change. The first, which will take place on June 5, will be a discussion of issues relating to education during the pandemic. “I have the impression that the government has not done a great job in terms of taking care of our students. Now is the time to bring this to the fore, ”says Okpo.

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