In 2017, husband and wife Cheryl and Warren Lee created 44th and 3rd Booksellers in Little Five Points, later joined by their daughter Allyce. Their goal was to source the community with unbiased literature that depicted the rich culture in the worldwide Black community.
The Lees closed up shop in late May. However, the Lees did not close shop due to the pandemic; they are simply bringing their mission elsewhere.
In early June, the Morehouse School of Medicine announced an agreement with the bookseller that would see the business moving into the Entra West End development adjacent to the school by the fall of this year.
“We are excited to contribute a rich, Black literary experience to Atlanta’s historic West End,” Allyce said in a prepared statement.
A construction permit has now been filed to build out 44th and 3rd in a 693-square-foot space in the development. The space will be designed by James Thompson of Thompson Greene Architects.
44th and 3rd started as a result of Cheryl’s Masters thesis on “the plight of independent bookstores and a strategy for success,” according to the store’s website. The origin of the name is a combination between the 44th president of America, Barack Obama, and the three types of books that 44th and 3rd carries: life, literature, and legacy.
“We felt that it would be important, in establishing a bookstore, that we represent the writings and the history of Barack Obama and his presidency in the bookstore,” Warren said in an interview with WABE‘s City Lights. “We had experience visiting Chicago in 2009 where we went to a big-box bookstore and found that they had no books on Barack Obama even though he was a Chicago person and he was the president at that time in the United States.”
What Now Atlanta has reached out to the Lees for comment.