Frederick Douglass Book Center

The Frederick Douglass Book Center served as a bookshop and meeting place for the minorities of New York City.  The center contained literature that specialized in African, Afro-American, and Caribbean history and culture. The center remained in Harlem until it was torn down in 1968.[1]

Frederick Douglass Book Center
Named afterFrederick Douglass
FounderRichard B. Moore
Founded atHarlem, New York
Coordinates40°48′31″N 73°56′50″W / 40.80861°N 73.94722°W / 40.80861; -73.94722Coordinates: 40°48′31″N 73°56′50″W / 40.80861°N 73.94722°W / 40.80861; -73.94722
Richard B. Moore
Sales Representative
Lodie M. Biggs


The Frederick Douglass Book Center was founded by Richard B. Moore in 1942.[2]  Richard B. Moore was a Caribbean activist and businessman who stood for socialism and black nationalism.[1]  The Frederick Douglass Center was launched with help from friend and second wife Lodie Biggs.[3]  Biggs later went on to become the sales representative of the Center.[4]


Richard  B Moore opened the  Frederick Douglass Book Center in 1942 on West 125th Street in Harlem, New York.[2]  Moore originally attempted to follow the example of George Young, the man who created the first Afro-American book shop in Harlem.[2][4] The initial stock of the center was part of Mr. Moore's own private collection.[4]  Most of the books that were located in the center, however, were not for sale. In fact, the Frederick Douglass Book Center was not considered a "store at all".[2]  The Center grew into a meeting place of Caribbean activists around the state.[2] These activists shared progressive or socialist political views. They also supported the  advancement of the Caribbean economy and independence.[2] These activists included Dr. C. A. Petioni of Trinidad; historian J. A. Rodgers, A. M. Wendell Malliet, W. A. Domingo,  and Miss Vivienne Packer of Jamaica; Reginald Pierrepointe, Bishop Reginald G. Barrow and Lionel M. Yard of Barbados; Atty. Hope R. Stevens of Nevis; Dr Gerald A. Spencer of St. Lucia; Arthur E. King of Guyana; and Hodge Kirnon of Montserrat.[2]

The end of the CenterEdit

The center was taken down by the state of New York in 1968 for the construction of the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Moore, Richard Benjamin |". Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Turner, W. Burghardt (1975). "The Richard B. Moore Collection and Its Collector". Caribbean Studies. 15 (1): 135–145. ISSN 0008-6533. JSTOR 25612681.
  3. ^ Hurst, Ryan (May 15, 2008). "Richard Benjamin Moore (1893–1978) • BlackPast". BlackPast. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Moore, Richard Benjamin; Turner, W. Burghardt; Turner, Joyce Moore (1988). Richard B. Moore, Caribbean Militant in Harlem: Collected Writings, 1920–1972. Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253312990.