Meet the Black Woman Bringing Black History to St. Louis With Noir Bookshop

These shelves are full of books, poems, and essays written by Black authors.

Ymani Wince, owner of The Noir Bookshop in St. Louis, has curated a space for book lovers to chill and learn about Black history, with book selections that are timeless, interesting, and informative, filling her community with Black culture.

According to NBC affiliate KSDK, with only 125 Black-owned bookstores out of the 2,000 independently owned bookstores across the nation, Wince wants to amplify support for local bookstores.

“My purpose is to put books in the community by any means necessary,” Wince said.

Wince wants her bookshop to expand knowledge to the community and reflect that of a Black library.


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“We’ve had critical Black thinkers since the beginning of time. Those books are published and out on the streets, and need to stay in circulation,” she said.

“This industry doesn’t value Black authors,” Wince added.

“My place in the industry is to shed light on Black authors and forthcoming titles, but also to keep pushing what’s already there,” she said.

The Noir Bookshop celebrated its grand opening in May, and Wince is striving to introduce all avenues of American history into the world’s conversations, studies, and perspectives of Black people.

“This is for St. Louis USA, I work for the community, I care about what’s going on in this city,” Wince said. But with the good comes the bad or even ugly. The bookstore owner has received the ugly of being a Black-owned business. Folks have called her shop a racist bookstore, but her response to that is, “I don’t have to ask anyone if I could pursue my dreams.”

The Noir Bookshop is one of the featured bookstores on, an online platform to promote and financially support indie book sellers. According to reports, Bookshop founder Andy Hunter, asserted that Amazon will account for 80 percent of the U.S. book market by 2025, releasing a letter providing an alternative to the threat to small bookstores.


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“I hope in my old age the universities take over my bookshop but still keep it for the people,” Wince said. “I want to carry out the work our people have done.