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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Pegasus is going on strike 6/12/20 to support Black Lives Matter

We will be closed on Friday, June 12th, for the general strike called for by the Seattle-King County chapter of Black Lives Matter.

If you're at all able to strike, we hope that you'll strike with us to show your dedication to fighting systemic racism.

(If you're still thinking "but ALL lives matter," don't miss the point. Read this and this, then come back here.)

Our country is broken and our city is broken. Some have known it for a long time; some are just learning the depth of it. It's our hope here at Pegasus that the protests and marches are only the beginning of a true revolution, which will lead to a world in which Black and Brown lives really, truly do matter.

Most of us here at Pegasus either are high COVID risk or live with people who are. So we aren't marching. It's frustrating. We recognize that a lot of y'all may be in the same position. So, here are some ideas for actions you can take even if you can't leave your house. If you can't do everything, do everything you can.

If you can, please strike with us, and make sure your employers know exactly why. Encourage your bosses to strike with you. If need be, remind them they don't want to be on the wrong side of history. (Maybe it's a low blow, but sometimes you gotta.)

Write to your councilmembers in favor of defunding the police. Email is free. Don't know who your councilmembers are? You can find out here. Don't really know exactly what defunding the police means? Here's an overview.

If you possibly can, please donate to social justice organizations. Here are just a few possibilities:

If you're here, you're a reader. Here is a huge (and ever-growing) list of books on Antiracism and Black history. Be aware: basically all books on these topics are sold out, not only at Pegasus, but also in the warehouses we order from. There are literally not enough copies in print to meet the demand. And that makes us super happy, because that means that people are digging in and learning everything they can. It's also frustrating, because that means we have to say "no" a lot.

If you order backordered books from the above link, they will ship to you when available. If you can't wait, you can check out our affiliates and get audiobooks from Libro.fm and ebooks from My Must Reads. A lot of devices are supported - test yours out before purchase. (Using those links is definitely helpful to us, BTW.)

Another thing that might not be obvious, which as a bookseller I'd specifically like to point out, is that it's important to buy books by living African-American authors. Everybody reads Morrison, Baldwin, Angelou, Hurston, Ellison, Butler, and Wright. That's great. But they're all dead.

Buy books by living authors. Buy them new. Buy books by authors who aren't already famous. Authors you've never heard of. Get royalties in the author's pockets and show the publishers that there is a demand for all types of books by Black people. Not only antiracist books and literary fiction (though read those too). But the Black authors who write Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, Kids' Books, Nonfiction, every type of book you can imagine: they also deserve to be able to support themselves as writers.

The publishing industry is systemically racist and has been fumbling around for years. The thing is, they can't just fix it without you. They need you readers to actually buy the books (yes, new) and show, by sales numbers, that books by Black authors sellBuy, review, recommend to your friends, feature them in your book club. Tell us what your favorites are! We will help you spread the word.

Slowly, we are putting together lists of books by living African-American authors. So far we've got MysteryRomanceSF Fantasy & HorrorYoung AdultMiddle Grade, and Picture Books. Good news, bad news: we are sold out of almost all of these on our store shelves (well, we just got in some N.K. Jemisin). Please order directly from those links; we will get a commission which helps us a lot, and the authors will get royalties. Or order them from some other store if you like. Just: support the authors.

I'm not going to write any rhetoric here. If you aren't already filled with burning rage, I'm not the one to get you there. I'm a practical person. Our society is broken. It's been broken for a long time. It is just possible that we have critical mass now, and we can fix it. But you've got to help too. And not just this week, either, but next week, next month, next year, next decade. Don't get bored.

Tomorrow, Pegasus will strike. As long as we're in business, we will keep featuring books by marginalized authors. We will keep writing salty emails to our councilmembers and donating to support social justice. If you can march, please know that we are so grateful for you.

Before I sign off, you should know: if you send us "but what about" messages you will get one warning. (Please read that link.) Second offense, and you can consider yourself banned from Pegasus until you educate yourself. I might look like a Nice Girl but not very far under that is intense rage. Don't pique me and don't waste my time. As a bookseller, I recommend books as an antidote to ignorance. Here's that link again.

Emma, speaking for all of us here at Pegasus

P.S. As usual, please direct orders & inquiries to pegasusbookexchange@gmail.com.