BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Roxbury community is pitching in to help a local Black-owned bookstore replace it's popular children's section after it was damaged following a fire.
The fire happened in the apartment above the Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury's Nubian Square, and the effort to put out the fire led to water damage that left about a third of the books in the children's section damaged or destroyed. Owner Leonard Egerton said the section was Boston's largest collection of African American children's books.
"The ceiling caved in from the pressure of the water seeping through and it destroyed the bookcases and destroyed the books," Egerton said. "To watch this unfold like this and see the destruction that the water caused, it's unbelievable. It's really humbling.".
In an effort to restore the section and repair the water damage, which was the most popular section in the store, Egerton started a GoFundMe campaign that's gotten a lot of support from the community. Local teachers, community members, and even some publishers have reached out to help donate and contribute books to the refurbished collection.
Egerton said it's important to replenish this section because it helps give children of color the opportunity to see themselves in the books they read, something he said was not common when he was young.
"There weren't a lot of books that showed Black children, Latino children, or Asian children on book covers," Egerton said. "It was the traditional European and white authors on books."
At the time of publication, the GoFundMe has raised over $28,000 of its $30,000 goal.
WBZ's Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) reports