Ploughshares: Beyond Trump’s Wall: Immigrant Literature in Washington, D.C.

Beyond Trump’s Wall: Immigrant Literature in Washington, D.C.

Author: Melissa Silverman | Apr 06 2017

Literary Washington, D.C. is populated with characters who have called the city home for generations, but today, about one in seven Washingtonians are immigrants. The demographics of the city have shaped literary trends and artistic output, and created a demand local entrepreneur Angela Maria Spring hopes to fill.

Spring is working to build Duende District, a bookstore with a mission to serve “a multicultural community with an equally multicultural ownership and staff.” A career bookseller, poet and the daughter of Central and Latin American immigrants, she believes “our nation’s capital, which has no legal voice in Congress, is a vibrant city of black, Latino and immigrant communities that deserve a bookstore that embraces them all.”

Spring is building community and inclusive spaces through pop-ups before settling on a permanent bricks-and-mortar location in Washington. She said,

In a time of destruction, creation is the most powerful weapon. And when you create space, it does not negate other spaces. A bookstore is a conversation. At Duende District Bookstore, we, people of color, will create that conversation and then invite everyone to join. This is true intersectionality and an authentic space for us all. And it begins here, a stone’s throw from a Congress and president who want to suppress our voices. But we will not be suppressed—we will be loud and warm and welcoming in the literal faces of intolerance and fear.

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Angela Maria Spring