The Shrine of the Black Madonna Cultural Center & Bookstore (“The Shrine”) is one of the nation’s largest and oldest black-owned bookstores, with locations in Detroit, Atlanta and Houston. It features black-centric literature and artwork, as well as sponsors community events, book signings, poetry readings and lectures on topics related to black history and culture. In additional to literary materials, the bookstore also carries a wide assortment of African clothing, hand-crafted jewelry, artist prints, African-American collectibles, greeting cards, gift items and much more.
The Center is also home to the Karamu Art Gallery, featuring the works of people of color from Africa, Caribbean, North and South America. You can also visit the adjacent African Holocost Museum, which houses documents, photography, articles and memorabilia that tell the story of the slavery and the horrors of the middle passage. The collection includes bills of sale, wills, newspaper notices for run-a-way enslaved, letters from slave traders, slave shackles and more.
The Atlanta branch of the Shrine of the Black Madonna was founded as the ninth congregation of the Pan African Orthodox Christian Church in 1975. The church’s central theological belief is that God supports the freedom of African Americans from all forms of oppression and that Jesus is the Black Messiah sent to rebuild the Black Nation Israel and liberate the Black People from oppression, brutality, and exploitation of the white gentile world.