What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us
My Economy

“All the pandemic has done is shine a horrifyingly clear spotlight on every inequality in our community. And my community is the book community.”

Alli Fam Dec 1, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Loyalty Books, which centers the stories of people of color and queer people. Courtesy of Hannah Oliver Depp
My Economy

“All the pandemic has done is shine a horrifyingly clear spotlight on every inequality in our community. And my community is the book community.”

Alli Fam Dec 1, 2020
Loyalty Books, which centers the stories of people of color and queer people. Courtesy of Hannah Oliver Depp
HTML EMBED:
COPY

My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

As the holiday season swings into gear, retailers across the country are gearing up as best they can amid the pandemic. Hannah Oliver Depp is the owner of Loyalty Bookstores, an independent bookseller with two locations — one in Washington, D.C., and the other in Silver Spring, Maryland. Loyalty Bookstores centers Black, people of color and queer voices and works to diversify the book industry to better serve those communities.

Hannah Oliver Depp, owner of Loyalty Bookstores. (Credit Liz Lynch)

For Depp, getting all the books her store wants for the holidays is a challenge, and not just because the pandemic has slammed the supply chain.

As she explains, “For the last five years, there has been a substantial issue getting certain cookbooks, art books, even some bigger-name fiction books, because they just couldn’t print them fast enough. And when they did, somehow mysteriously they were at Amazon before they were at independent bookstores.”

The disparities don’t stop at Amazon. “All the pandemic has done is shine a horrifyingly clear spotlight on every inequality in our community,” Depp said. “And my community is the book community. So when book printing shortages come, when people lose their jobs, when the death rate skyrockets in the community and it adversely affects Black and brown people and the undocumented.

“Those are the people whose stories I’m interested in telling,” she said, “and they’re my direct community that I’m trying to provide books to.”

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Hannah’s holiday book picks and why she thinks they’re must-reads

How to Slowly Kill Yourselves and Others in America” by Kiese Laymon

“If a book of essays had a physical bite, it would be this one. Combining every element of our lives, from music, to police, to our mothers, Laymon casts his ever-aware but empathetic eye on America and offers us both our unvarnished truth and our capacity for hope.”

Legendborn” by Tracy Deonn

“As one friend put it, a book that deals with PTSD and institutional racism has no right to be this fun. An upending of the ever-changing Arthurian legend, “Legendborn” gives us the heroine of 2020 in Bree, a young Black woman going to a liberal arts college in the South and discovering a secret, magical society tied to her mother’s passing.” 

I Am Every Good Thing” by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon C. James

“In addition to being a gorgeous and bright picture book that will delight your senses, this Kirkus Prize-winning read enthuses the brilliance of the young Black body and the joys of discovering what makes each kid powerful as they figure out who they are.”

Let us know how your economy is doing using the form below, and your story may be featured on a future edition of “My Economy.”









As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.