Rolling Out

Cynthia Shambry offers a plethora of multicultural books for readers

Cynthia Chambray is the owner of Elda Reads
Cynthia Shambry offers a plethora of multicultural books for readers
Cynthia Shambry

Cynthia Shambry is the owner of Elda Reads, a child development program that promotes diversity by providing exposure to multicultural books and services. Elda Reads has a collection of books by Black writers that range from kids to adult level reading.

Chambray spoke with rolling out about her bookstore and Black representation in books.

What inspired you to launch this bookstore?

Originally, the bookstore started out in Maryland in the DMV area, and on Facebook marketplace, where it did very well, until COVID. COVID is what brought me here to Georgia, and [I] just happened to be here at the time in which the New Black Wall Street Market was going to have its grand opening and I knew I needed to be a part of that.

Why is it important for Black people to see themselves on book covers and to read stories written by people of color?

I’ll tell you a story. I had a young girl walk past the store with her mom, and she had about three or four kids. She’s pulling on her trying to get her attention, and as she’s doing so she’s seeing herself in the books on the shelves. As soon as mom turns around to give her attention, she says,”Look, they look just like me.” That was so powerful. In the moment, it brought a tear to my eye to be a part of that.

You have books about Barack and Michelle Obama, and Nipsey Hussle. What do you think those books can do for the Black community?

I am very adamant about making sure that I get good content, but I do the due diligence to make sure that for every culture that is being represented, that the books are authentically written by someone from that culture as well. So voice matters as far as your authentic voice as well as the visual representation. We have books for teens and young adults.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Join our Newsletter

Sign up for Rolling Out news straight to your inbox.

Read more about:
Also read
Rolling Out