PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As Mother’s Day approaches, many of us think about how inspiring moms can be. In today’s Open for Business, Eyewitness News introduces you to a book shop owner that honors her mother and so many other women in her life that pushed her to stay afloat during the pandemic.
“Growing up, my mother was a librarian. My mother began to lose her vision really severely when I was about 8. And during that time, she was also in school,” Jeannine Cook said. “She was getting her master’s and decided to keep going to school. What she would do is have us take turns, my sisters and I, reading to her or writing her thoughts down, typing her thoughts down. That’s how she finished. It was like a degree that we did as a family.”
Books have always been a part of Cook’s story, and in her bookshop off Girard Avenue, called Harriett’s Bookshop, you can’t help but know this will be her legacy.
The shelves speak to you through the curated voices of women authors, women artists, and women activists she admires and honors for all to enjoy.
“Harriett’s Bookshop is designed to celebrate women authors, women artists, women activists,” Cook said. “I think that mission is what continues to fuel everything else that we do. I think that we do that under the guiding light of Harriet Tubman.”
When COVID-19 struck weeks after they opened, Cook felt like she had two options — turn in or turn the page and keep writing.
“It felt like, is something telling me to stop? Is something telling me that I’m being foolish? Is something telling me to fight harder, go harder?” Cook said. “I decided to go harder.”
Harder she went, and what would follow her would be success.
As it was said by Harriett Tubman, always remember you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
“We’re walking in her path, I say. There are still people who are walking behind Harriet Tubman. And I think that that’s us right now. We understand that what we’re doing is way bigger than us and has a far-reaching impact,” Cook said. “I talk about my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren, my great-great-grandchildren, and the hope that what we’re doing today will mean that they have a world that they can really respect and enjoy.”
Meanwhile, Cook has started a GoFundMe to help find the book shop a permanent home in Philadelphia. You can help out by clicking here.