‘We’re the bookstore for the community’: Katy bookstore owner plans to educate community about race after property vandalized with racial slurs

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KATY – The owner of a Katy bookstore that’s under construction said she plans to educate the community about race after her property was vandalized and damaged with hateful messages.

Raven White owns Brown Sugar Cafe and Books near Clay and Fry Roads in Katy. The business is slated to open on Feb. 22.

White said there was a need for a bookstore in the neighborhood, and she wants her establishment to be a place where culture meets the community.

“We’re the Katy bookstore. We’re the bookstore for the community,” she said. “We do have a focus on bridging the gap between people of color, but everyone is included and welcome.”

White said she had to pause construction briefly last week after noticing the rear of her store and others in the shopping center were vandalized with graffiti of racial slurs and images of hate.

“Unfortunately, we do believe it was children because of the nature of the writings that were in the wall,” she said.

The business is in the backyard of a middle school. White said she decided not to pursue the matter criminally in the event children were involved.

“Instead of possibly sending a child to prison over the next couple of years, we wanted to put a different impression in their heart that we can come together and do something bigger and better,” said White.

White said she plans to fight hate with literacy by offering a number of programs to help educate the community about race once her store opens.

“A day like today, Dr. Martin Luther King Day, I think it’s important to show these things are still happening and we are still in the fight against racism,” she said. “But, there are also people and the community that understand that this is still an ongoing movement. We’re not going to stand for it, we won’t be moved.”

White said members of the community are also doing their part to show that hate isn’t welcomed. She said people of all races and nationalities reached out to help her clean up the graffiti.

Brown Sugar Cafe and Books will open on Feb. 22 with a grand opening ceremony from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

White is also raising funds to bring more culturally aware books, art and programs to the community. If you’d like to donate, click here.