In addition to being a bookstore, it’s also a meeting place for community members.
Accents on Eglinton Bookstore was established by York University professors, Michelle Johnson and Abubacar Fofana Leon, to meet the needs of university students unable to easily access class resource material.
“It was always a challenge to get books and not easy access to them,” said Johnson who won the Faculty of Arts Dean’s Award for Teaching in 2005. “There are some places around the city where you can get books, but we found there wasn’t a location in this part of the city. In addition, we thought the space could be used for intellectuals and community members to engage in dialogue about Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.”
Since it was launched just over a year ago at 1790 Eglinton Ave. West, the facility has hosted regular book launches, poetry readings and a Latin American theatre group that meets twice a month. There is also a Cuba and Jamaica Night every month where representatives from the communities gather to discuss topical subjects.
Jamaica Night is on the last Saturday of each month.
Johnson did her undergraduate studies at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus and her Master’s and PhD at John Hopkins University and taught at UWI for several years before accepting an offer a decade ago to become an associate professor in York University’s History department.
Leon, who came to Canada three years ago from Cuba, is a visiting scholar at the Center for Refugee Studies and the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples at York University. He is also a visiting Research Fellow with the University of Toronto Caribbean Studies Program.
Accents on Eglinton Bookstore is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week, Tuesday to Sunday. It is closed on Mondays.
By RON FANFAIR