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How two sisters are creating new space for Black food books

. . . just sharing, with pride

African cooking and its influences have spread far and wide. The foods of the diaspora are a crucial part of the U.S. food landscape and make up much of Caribbean and Latin American cuisines. Fueled by famous chefs, codified family recipes, and a rediscovery of traditional African dishes, it is a scene that keeps evolving and changing.

Danielle and Gabrielle Davenport are two sisters who have created BEM Books & More, an online bookstore focused on Black food literature. The store’s name comes from their grandmothers’ initials — Bernice Munford and Marjory Davenport. Their goal is to serve as “a home for scholarship about foodways of the African diaspora.” The Davenports started the business in 2021, and, while their focus is primarily online, they have done numerous pop-up events in Brooklyn and plan to open a brick-and-mortar location in the New York City borough in 2024.


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