Busboys & Poets Turns 10

busboys & poets
Angela Davis

Steps away from history explains my initial response to listening to Angela Davis speak at the Busboys & Poets X Anniversary Party last night. Davis’ commanding voice and prose praised the Washington bookstore for their local, slow food and decried the continued imprisonment of political prisoners. Then Bill Ayers came on stage to speak about social justice in education.

That was only the first thirty minutes of the evening event!

Last night was the 10th anniversary of a local Washington area bookstore restaurant. Besides renowned speakers, there was delicious food, drinks, music, and dancing. Musical acts included live drumming and mixes by DJ Ayescold and others.

The vibe was amazing! It was collective and creative. I could write a whole post about all the different fashion styles and outfits.

busboys & poets
Bill Ayers

My friend and I both knew we had to restrain ourselves from buying books. There was a dangerous moment when I saw an introduction to whiskey book I almost bought. Thankfully I was too excited to dance after eating to spend much time exploring the bookshelves.

In the end, I left with only the books I brought and one danced-out body.

Community Bookstore

Busboys & Poets is a bookstore restaurant founded in 2005 by Anas “Andy” Shallal. Shallal is described as “an Iraqi-American artist, activist, restaurateur” on the store’s website.

Busboys & Poets fashions itself as a community resource for creatives and activists. According to the site, it aims to be

“a community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted…a place to take a deliberate pause and feed your mind, body and soul…a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide…we believe that by creating such a space we can inspire social change and begin to transform our community and the world.”

Busboys & Poets opened its sixth location in February 2015.

IMG_5348I had only been to the flagship Busboys & Poets location at 14th and V before yesterday evening. Back in March, I wandered into the store while exploring the U St area. I had meant to write a bookstore post about the business back then, but that didn’t happen.

The Brookland location, where the anniversary party was hosted, is beautiful! The artwork around the place was inspirational and really made me want to go home and write. The space was expansive and I’ll be interested to see what it looks like when it’s not broken down to be an open dance floor.

IMG_5349For more information about the anniversary event, read this article in the Washington Post.

Sorry for the lack of detail about the event or the store. I got swept up in the energy of the event and didn’t really do enough observation to write a substantial post, but I wanted to share the event with SitS readers. Perhaps I’ll have to do a review of the 14th and V location next!

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