We Buy Black and SheaMoisture have teamed up to bring the culture the Black Business Relief Fund. After reviewing 3588 applications carefully, we have settled on 20 awardees, each who’ve been awarded a $5,000 grant. The fifth business is EyeSeeMe African American Children’s Bookstore, an excellent business that is totally worthy of this honor.
EyeSeeMe African American Children’s Bookstore is a full service, brick and mortar bookstore. The company sells African American children’s books, ensuring that Black children can see themselves in the books that they read. EyeSeeMe is one of only a few Black owned Bookstores in the country that focus primarily on children books. They carry books from all major publishers and distributors, as well as books from independent authors. EyeSeeMe books range from baby board books to high school, covering all genres, including fiction, non-fiction, history, sci-fi, graphic novels and poetry. For over nine years, this Black owned business has demonstrated its commitment to helping Black children see themselves and the world, clearly.
EyeSeeMe sells packages, such as Subscription Boxes, to help parents increase their home libraries. Additionally, they offer book bundles and classroom sets to schools and facilitate numerous programs at their store; those programs include, tutoring services, author visits, community meetings, literacy classes and teacher/parent workshops. EyeSeeMe is determined to be a resource to parents, teachers, and schools, providing the very best children’s books on the market: books that promote positive images and stories about African American culture and history. EyeSeeMe is helping to increase literacy, as African American children benefit tremendously when they see themselves respectfully represented in the literature they read.
Due to COVID-19, the EyeSeeMe African American Children’s Bookstore is closed to the public. In addition, the store had to cancel all book fairs at local area schools. Further, the owner fears that with schools closed, the Black community will suffer the most. The commitment to schools is an important one: they recently collaborated with A Red Circle and Maryville University to provide free books to every student at Barack Obama Elementary School. Presently, the company is focused on ways to support families by providing online services, free delivery, curbside delivery, and activities like Online Story Time. Unfortunately, those efforts aren’t enough to sustain the business. The owner has been forced to layoff staff and isn’t currently able to pay the rent on the store.
The $5,000 grant from We Buy Black and SheaMoisture can’t come at a better time, for EyeSeeMe. This grant will allow them to call back some staff and ramp up their online efforts to provide books to households during the stay at home order. Thanks to the Black Business Relief Fund, EyeSeeMe African American Children’s Bookstore has a new lease on life.