Memphis’ newest Black-owned bookstore is creating a space where ALL Memphians belong. Whether you’re a bookworm with a passion for activism or a new reader looking for representation on your book cover, store owner Jeremee DeMoir has curated a space for you.
Meet Jeremee Demoir: store owner, educator, bookworm.
Jeremee Demoir, owner of DeMoir Books & Things, fell in love with books before taking his first breath. His mom started reading to him while she was pregnant—a passion for books was rooted deep in his bones before they had even fused! Now he’s the face of #Bookmark901, a collaboration with Give901 and Choose901.
Originally from North Memphis, Jeremee is a product of the Memphis City School System (now SCS). He credits his appreciation for education to several all-star high school teachers. Their influence and his love of reading led him to become an SCS English teacher himself!
As a Memphis teacher, Jeremee loved the diversity in his classroom. While most of his students were born in Memphis, he taught students from Jordan, Brazil and even Venezuela.
With so many different perspectives, Jeremee used books to connect with his students. When he noticed a child that seemed to be feeling particularly alone in the crowd, he would give them a book with characters that had a related struggle or similar characteristics.
My mission is to use books to give people a sense of belonging.
Jeremee dreamed of opening a bookstore after he retired from teaching. The pandemic created more time and space for him to spend on this dream—and made him realize that there are no guarantees for the future.
In June of 2021, Jeremee opened DeMoir Books & Things at 739 White Station.
The store is designed with inclusivity and community in mind. Walking into DeMoir Books has the magic of reading the first page of your favorite novel: as comfortable as a friend’s living room, and as exciting as hundreds of stories waiting to be read.
And the atmosphere is just the beginning: Jeremee has incorporated inclusivity into the store’s book selection.
Access to relatable and representative characters is key. That’s why DeMoir Books carries books with protagonists that are Black, LGBTQ+, Middle Eastern, rich, poor, old, young—you name it! He makes a point to support Black authors in a city that is over 60% Black. He also has two shelves dedicated to Memphis authors.
In addition to books, the store hosts movie nights and game nights, sells snacks, and is about to start selling local artists’ jewelry. It’s a great space to be productive or just hangout! You’ll frequently find people working from the store just to have a change of scenery from their home or office.
To learn more about Jeremee and what he’s reading this month, use #Bookmark901—each week, Jeremee is recommending 2 books in honor of Black History Month. Find #Bookmark901 on the DeMoir Books & Things Facebook or Instagram and the Give901 Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.