Do your holiday shopping, learn, and have fun in a great Detroit neighborhood!
I’m excited! This weekend there will be a local author/publisher event in the neighborhood where Charles Novacek wrote his award-winning indie-published memoir, Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance!
Six local authors/publishers will talk about, sell and sign their books ranging from a children’s book to local history, issues and a Detroit immigrant. They’ll also be glad to recommend other books to help shoppers locate the perfect holiday gifts. Meet:
Charles Avison – Detroit City of Champions Michael Hamlin – A Black Revolutionary’s Life in Labor: Black Workers Power in Detroit Orlin Jones – Conant Gardens: A Black Urban Community, 1925-1950 Sandra Novacek – Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance by Charles Novacek Renee Prewitt – Taj Cleans the Garage Lydia Yancy – INFUSION: My Personal Journey With GSC by Sheila D. Yancy
The event is part of Indies First/Small Business Saturday, sponsored by American Express and the American Booksellers Association. Source Booksellers is located at 4240 Cass Avenue, Suite 105, Detroit, MI 48201, phone 313.832.1155. Source will also be offering a PASSPORT for shoppers with 10% off of merchandise store-wide as will other local retailers, City Bird, Nest, Hugh, and Nora, as part of a Pure Detroit Small Business Saturday program.
Nearby, there are some unique restaurants, clothing, and gift shops. This is quite a change from the days Charles and I moved into Detroit’s gritty Cass Corridor neighborhood in 1999. The one square mile area with 7,500+ residents borders the Wayne State University campus. There were few retail establishments within walking distance. The area was struggling to overcome its status as a depressed inner city neighborhood.
We relocated to escape spiraling rent on the riverfront, to invest in what appeared to be a resurgence of the area and partake of our beloved cultural institutions within walking distance: the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hall, Detroit Public Library, the Hilberry Theater, et al.
Charles and I knew about the neighborhood’s great tradition of creativity. Originally home to some of Detroit’s wealthiest residents from the late 19th to mid 20th century, the Cass Corridor declined economically, but developed as a center of urban arts and culture in Detroit in the 1960s and 1970s. Its population included, as many as seventy-five artists working in buildings with studio complexes (the Old Convention Hall and Common Ground), storefronts, lofts, basements and apartments. I experienced it firsthand as a Wayne State University Library School graduate student in the 1970s.
Step-by-step positive change has come economically with new businesses and more people following, including artists and galleries! Among the finest businesses is Source Booksellers. Source recently moved from the Spiral Collective building into its own location in the Auburn Building on Cass Avenue.
Owner Janet Jones is a positive force in the community and bookseller for 25 years. She skillfully guides her customers through the intimate process of book-buying. As aptly stated in The Michigan Citizen by Phreddy Wischusen, Janet “seamlessly guides each person to the section that perfectly matches their own particular interests. As each customer gets wrapped into the world she has opened for them, shy and gregarious customers alike begin their own conversations with each other.”
This is sure to be a great Saturday for indie authors and book stores! Are you going?