May 30, 2023
Book Reviews

Loc’d and Lit: Bronx Booksellers Bridging the Literacy Gap By Yoyo Opoku

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Picture it: one slice of pizza to feed 1.5 million people. Seems impossible, right? Well, that’s the same problem the Bronx faces with only one brick and mortar bookstore for its 1.5 million residents. But fear not, because Loc’d and Lit is here to help! This online bookseller and book club, started by two childhood friends, Triciah Claxton and Alanna Lewis-Ramirez during the pandemic in 2020; is gaining a loyal following on social media and making a difference in the Bronx community.

Loc’d and Lit isn’t just selling books, they’re committed to representation, language, and culture. They source indie authors and recommendation from bookstagram accounts to ensure that their online bookstore is diverse and inclusive. Their goal is to offer books that represents the community and its stories, fostering a sense of pride and investment in reading for children and adults of all ages. According to studies, children feel detached and less interested in books that doesn’t represent their culture or community. To combat this struggle, Loc’d and Lit plans
to offer titles by minority authors as well as authors of indigenous people. And they’re not just an online presence, they host events like free book giveaways, popup shops, and curate their own in-person and virtual book clubs.

Loc’d and Lit is doing their part to increase literacy in the Bronx by hosting their 3rd free book distribution event. Earlier this month, “Books in Bloom”, was held in Harlem – Heyground and was well attended by supporters and followers of all ages. Several local spoken word poets and authors, such as Jessica Gonzalez, Nico Diaz, Natasia Stukes, Angel Gomez, Luz Maria Mack, Nathan Dillard, and Josue Caceres provided their support and creative energy to the event. DJ iChunez was on the turntable creating an equally entertaining vibe that was well-received by
the community. And their efforts have not gone unnoticed. As Cohort 9 Communitas America Community impact Grant winners, Alanna and Trish have demonstrated that they have the business acumen to help Loc’d and Lit flourish.

But Loc’d and Lit still needs support to bring a brick-and-mortar bookstore to the Melrose and Morrisania neighborhoods of the Bronx, where the need for access to books is high. They’re actively seeking grants, angel investors, and marketing campaigns to raise the necessary funds.

“Reading is a right. It is not a privilege. Literacy is directly correlated to job prospects, to poverty. Reading is power and knowledge is power. And it shouldn’t be gatekept,” Triciah says. “We are aware of that problem of inaccessibility, and we are here to offer the solution,” Alanna says.

Loc’d and Lit is doing its part to combat the lack of access to books and representation in the Bronx community. And with their brick-and-mortar bookstore on the horizon, they are poised to become a staple in the community and beyond. Authors such as Zoraida Cordova, Laila Sabreen, Vanessa Riley, or Chloe Gong will be household names along with the names of Rowling, McMillan, and Mosley. Your support will make a difference in the world of literacy.

For upcoming events, book giveaways, and more information about Loc’d and Lit book clubs, follow them at or email them at

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