|New York metropolitan area|
Bluestockings is a volunteer-supported and collectively owned radical bookstore, fair trade cafe, and activist center located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. It started out as a feminist bookstore and is named after a group of Enlightenment intellectual women, the Bluestockings.
Mission and structure
Bluestockings actively supports "movements that challenge hierarchy and all systems of oppression" and is one of 13 identified feminist bookstores in the US and Canada. Bluestockings is collectively owned and supported by a community of volunteers. The Bluestockings collective is a small group of worker-owners who make decisions based on consensus, with the input and support of volunteers and community members. It is still independent.
Bluestockings was originally opened in 1999 as a feminist bookstore. The store closed briefly in late 2001, reopening a few months later, under its current model as a collectively-run worker-owned radical bookstore and activist center. The founding collective members expanded the focus of Bluestockings' titles and events programming to social justice related topics, including sections on Race and Black Studies, Political Theory, Intersectional Feminism, LGBTQ, Gender Studies, Anarchism, Class & Labor, Activist Strategies, Radical Education, Environment and Climate Justice, Indigenous Studies, Global Justice, Art, Science & Cultural Studies, Comics, Science Fiction, Poetry, and Fiction. Since 2003, Bluestockings has continued to operate as a collectively-owned radical bookstore, and serves as a community meeting space and hub for activist, literary and intellectual gathering. The space also continues to host author readings, discussions, screenings, workshops, and panels nearly every night that are free to attend. There is also a small fair trade café that serves coffee from one of the Zapatista coffee cooperatives.
Due to hardship from the coronavirus pandemic, Bluestockings was forced to move from its original location at 172 Allen Street. After extensive fundraising, the bookstore announced it would remain on the Lower East Side and would move to 116 Suffolk Street.
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