Hakim’s Book Store, the city’s first black bookstore is set for the future
A woman looking for Kwanzaa supplies at Hakim’s Bookstore playfully chides Christopher Arnold, 31, that she’s been celebrating the African American cultural holiday longer than the store employee has been alive.
At the cash register, another customer asks Hakim’s owner, Yvonne Blake, if an employee named Glenda still works there.
“She’s still here. She’s like my sister. She worked for my dad since she was 16 years old,” responds a delighted Blake, 68, who has run the West Philadelphia store since the death of her father, Dawud Hakim, in 1997.
Yvonne Blake took over Hakim’s Bookstore from her father, Dawud Hakim, after he died in 1997. It has been in business for six decades.
Yvonne Blake took over Hakim’s Bookstore from her father, Dawud Hakim, after he died in 1997. It has been in business for six decades. At Hakim’s, 210 S. 52nd St., roots in the black community run deep, and promoting its culture is the stock in trade. The store doesn’t sell coffee, but you can buy Barack and Michelle mugs. There are no comfy couches to crash on, but there are books and Afrocentric artifacts that can’t be found at bigger chain bookstores.