Noname made a dent in the music industry with her debut mixtape “Telefone” in 2016. As the Chicago rapper rose to stardom, unlike most celebrities who embrace the capitalistic structure, she boldly challenged the dominant framework.
And she has not let up since.
Beginning in 2019, the poet created the NoName Book Club with a coalition of activists sharing one goal, to provide “reading materials for the homies.” The online book club selects two books a month written by people of color surrounding a social justice movement.
Just two years after its inception, Noname has yet again raised the bar with a step that will help books become more accessible for Black and brown communities.
The Radical Hood Library
The Radical Hood Library will become the new home for the rapper’s book club in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The library will be free and will offer complimentary food and music to the general public.
“We are so excited to finally open our Radical Hood Library! This is a black led organization that was created to service black/brown folks and the RSVP prioritization will reflect that. There will be music, free food, and more! Please bring a new or used book. See you there!!!,” according to a post from the Twitter platform for Noname Book Club.
For Noname, the library will be an educational tool for readers to become exposed to various constructs, as this is the first step to dismantling existing systems.
“The psychodynamics + violence of colonization can only be eradicated via study and practice,” Noname said via Twitter. “we send about 1000 books a month to our incarcerated members who have begun to organize their own chapters in various prisons. We also provide free books/classes to our local community.”
Noname continued: “I believe in the abolition of this imperialist world. We are completely indoctrinated into white supremacy + capitalism and it’s killing us. the state is actively at war with black people (always has been). I love us and I know liberation is possible when we study and organize!”
The library will feature selections in a range of categories including imperialism, prison writing, the global Black resistance, and a “young homies” section for kids. The rapper also shared her favorite sections, which included Black Capitalism Won’t Save Us.
A Collective Mission
The opening of the bookstore was a continuation of her mother’s work, who shared her vision but did not have the opportunity to see it come to light. Now, Noname has the opportunity to allow the library to come to fruition, but she believes sustainability is not the responsibility of one individual.
“I used to always think… ‘If I had Oprah’s money I would build free radical libraries in every hood across the country. This is individualist thinking routed in capitalism. although noname book club is my vision i can’t and didn’t build it alone. it takes community solidarity,” Noname also said via Twitter.
As the resources offered from the community will be free to local communities, the poet has requested for individuals who support the cause to consider a one-dollar donation to sustain their mission.
Visit nonamebooks.com for more information on how you can lend a helping hand.