Fierce By mitú: Meet Angela Maria Spring, The Latina Creating Space For Book Lovers Of Color In Washington, DC
After being a bookseller for more than 17 years in the U.S. Southwest and East Coast, Angela Maria Spring wanted to redefine what a bookstore was supposed to feel like.
She yearned to see herself and her culture reflected in every corner of a bookshop and knew what it felt like to be the only person of color in the room selecting titles the stores would decide to sell.
“I never really saw people of color booksellers and, if I did, they didn’t really rise up in their positions. The few people of color that I did work with were super talented, and it was sad to see them caught in the cycle of institutional discrimination,” Spring told Fierce.
So after working at a well-known bookstore in Washington, D.C. for years, the Puerto Rican-Panamanian literary aficionado wanted to create an inclusive space for and by Black and brown people.
That’s when Duende District was born. It’s a pop-up bookshop that sells works by people of color and hosts events and literary discussions for adults and children.
Spring, 36, grew up surrounded by books in Albuquerque, New Mexico. But even though she loved the shops she frequented, she said, “none of them were really for me. I wanted to flip the model. I wanted to have a bookstore where we are everything.”