This bot will help you find a book written by a Black author

Over the past few months, protests have broken out around the world in response to the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as the numerous Black people who have lost their lives to police brutality. In addition to protesting, many people are also making a pointed effort right now to support Black-owned businesses and Black artists.

By paying closer attention to Black authors, filmmakers, musicians and other artists, supporters of the Black Lives Matters movement are hoping to both familiarize themselves with Black history as well as anti-racism rhetoric ways to support Black communities, which have been hit especially hard both physically and financially during the global pandemic.

Recently, many people have turned to both fiction and nonfiction books to educate themselves. In fact, following the death of George Floyd on May 25, the book “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racismclaimed the No. 1 spot on USA Today’s Best-Selling Books list.

If you want to support Black business owners and Black creators right now but don’t know where to start, a developer named Liz has created a bot that will help you both find a book by a Black author and locate a Black-owned bookstore that is currently selling it.

To get a recommendation, all you have to do is text the number (409) 404-0403. A bot will then help you pick out a book written by a Black author based on genre and link you to a Black-owned bookstore where you can purchase the suggested title.

Based on screenshots of interactions with the bot, current genre options include anti-racism, children, sci-fi/fantasy, short stories/essays, literary fiction and poetry, though Liz plans on adding more soon.

“This is so cool!” one person said. “I love how the bookstores alternate, thank you for building!”

“This is seriously so incredible,” another user commented. “Thank you so much.”

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If you enjoyed this story, check out this teacher’s viral list of children’s books that deal with racism.

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