Our Story

Noire Reading Room is a Black and Queer independent bookstore based in Rochester, NY.

Noire Reading Room is birthed from Flower City Noire Collective, INCs Read With FCNC reading and discussion group that met in person until 2020 when the world demanded a shift in our ways of gathering. While moving our discussions to the digital space the need for sourcing Black, Queer and Radical texts to critically engage our minds during an uncertain time was made alarmingly clear when looking for 12 copies of Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements by Charlene Carruthers. Without utilizing the man in the moons company, it was impossible to locally source the text and quantity needed for our community. This signaled how inaccessible books by Black Women, Femmes and Queer folks are to source and further illuminated how erasure happens in subtle ways, in this instance empty shelves.

Noire Reading Room officially launched 4.20.2021 as a pop-up bookstore at events and markets across Rochester, NY. Our aim is to increase literacy engagement for folks of all ages and stop the erasure of Black Women, Femmes and Queer authors.

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Our Curator

Kristen Walker

Founder & Curator

Greetings! I'm Kristen, the founder and curator of Noire Reading Room. My passion revolves around centering Black Women, Femmes, and Non-Binary authors and creatives in both digital and in-person curated spaces.

My love for reading was instilled by my mother, who often said, "You can go anywhere with a book." Following this invaluable advice, I've immersed myself in reading for leisure and academic pursuits, solidifying my identity as a lifelong reader. Throughout my career, I've followed the call of creativity, ensuring that joy is a constant presence in my work.

My expertise lies in intersectional community engagement, where I actively advocate for Black Queer inclusion across all facets of my endeavors. Join me on this literary journey where diverse voices are celebrated and joyfully embraced!

Past Projects

Black Femme Book Week

February 2022

1st Little Free Library Installation

May 2022

Black Femme Book Week

February 2023

Writing Space

Spring/ Summer 2023

National Novel Writing Month

“On Wednesdays We Write”

November 2023

Support our Independent Bookstore


Welcome to our independent bookstore! Here, we thrive on the joy of selling books and championing literacy access for all, without any financial barriers. We proudly provide a collection of both paid and public resources, fostering a love for reading that's accessible to everyone, regardless of income.

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Library Resources


Stay in touch by following us on social media or reaching out via email for a deeper connection! Be sure to subscribe to our email list to receive direct updates and announcements delivered straight to your inbox!

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Encourage Our Community's Literacy Engagement

We invite you to join us in promoting literacy engagement within our community! Become a monthly or one-time donor, and help us ignite and nurture the love of books and community while we increase access to diverse authors and inititaves. Your commitment fuels our mission and we can't express enough gratitude for your support!

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