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Walk into Harriett’s Bookshop in Fishtown and you might get a chance to meet Jeannine A. Cook, a business owner with deep Philadelphia roots.
“It’s our way of both celebrating women and culture and literature and our heritage. Making sure that books stay a relevant part of today’s conversation,” Cook said about her bookstores, named after Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Josephine Baker, and Toni Morrison
While those women are known as key figures in Black American history, a new chapter is forming in Philadelphia as Mayor Cherelle Parker assumes office as the city’s first woman and first Black woman mayor.
While it’s unclear what that might entail, some Philly entrepreneurs and business leaders say there are some clues.
“We know that [Parker] has created programming that didn’t exist, which means she has an eye for innovation,” Cook said. “We’ve never seen what happens with Philadelphia in the hands of a Black woman. We have no idea what it will look like. How that’s going to challenge us as a city. How it’s going to evolve us. We have no frame of reference for it yet.”