Remembering Dallas' Black Images Book Bazaar With Creator Emma Rodgers

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Black Images Book Bazaar was a destination in Dallas. It was a place where the community came to listen to well-known Black authors. It was a mainstay in the Wynnewood Village from 1977-2007.

It was the brainchild of Emma Rodgers. In the beginning, it wasn’t about a brick and mortar store, but rather, filling a need.

“We started it in 1977. It started as a mail-order business because I needed one. It was supposed to be my son’s 10th birthday and I had to several book stores to find books from the Black experience,” Rodgers said. “I was just fit to be tied because I couldn’t find them. So, we started it as a mail-order, then it went to the flea market. We moved a few times and then we moved across the street to the largest building in 1992.”

Black Images, as it was commonly referred to, closed in 2006, but not before it left a lasting impact on the community.

The likes of Dr. Maya Angelou, Terry McMillan and Derrick Bell all made stops at Black Images.

“It was a destination. It was a place people wanted to come to. Every time we had an author come to town, we would try to get a book club to host it and that would engage the audience for it,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers has continued to spread her passion for reading and the Black experience through the years, especially during the pandemic. Continuing to stay engaged with her community, including virtual readings with the Bishop Arts Theatre Center called Storytime at Bedtime in the age of COVID-19.

She is currently the curator of the African American Arts Museum at the Martin Luther King Center in Dallas but calls herself a full-time community volunteer.

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