The Word is a Literature Cafe, Event and Co-working space, Craft Beer Bar, and Lending Library featuring books on Black, POC, LGBTQ and minority experience and also providing a safe space for these communities. We put on regular events along with artist meet ups and performances and we also have a sister shop in Kreuzberg called Another Country.
If you have not yet been you should definitely go for a quick visit because Another Country is a legendary bookshop with one of the largest selections of used English language books in all of Berlin. Sophia Raphaeline and Asoka Esuruoso met nearly ten years ago when a young African American woman new to Berlin accidentally stumbled
into one of the largest collections of used English language books in the city which also happened to be Sophia’s life project Another Country. Out of their mutual love of literature, storytelling, and late night conversations a friendship was born which stood the test of time and many years later gave birth to “the Word” as a shared space promoting the communities that mean the most to both women.
The Word opened in 2019 within a former Billiard Room and Berlin-Schöneberg Ecke Kneipe dating all the way back to 1891. Traces of this history can still be found in the original molding and pine floors that have been beautifully renovated. Schöneberg has a long history, especially for the LGTBQ, and artistic communities of Berlin along with Berlin’s long standing Black and PoC communities. Right around the corner from “the Word” stands the original location of the Orlanda Frauenverlag, a feminist publishing company based in Berlin where Audre Lorde spent a lot of time during her stays in Berlin and where May Ayim, Katharina Oguntoye and Dagmar Schultz published one of the first books on Afro-German experience in 1986 called Showing Our Colors: Afro-German Women Speak Out. In the Großgörschenstraße cemetery five minutes away from the Word are buried the bodies of many promenant activists especially from Berlin’s Black and Lesbian communities. Along with being the final resting place of May Ayim you will also find the famous Brothers Grimm buried there. A ten minute walk away from our shop on Hauptstrasse you will also find the original Berlin apartment of David Bowie and of course who can forget that Schöneberg is the neighborhood of Marlene Dietrich and Albert Einstein. To learn more about the history of prominent Black, Jewish, and LGBTQ individuals who lived and worked and worked on the streets near where the Word now stands please come and visit us.
We are here to create an open location celebrating self expression, creativity, creative writing and literature, critical thought, activism and more, and to provide a safe space for the Black, PoC, LGBTQ and minority communities in Berlin. As a result we will not tolerate descrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neurotype, physical appearance, body, age, nationality, language or religion. Racism, sexism, misogyny, transphobia, transmisogyny, homophobia, biphobia, classism, fatphobia, body shaming or colourism are not welcome. Please ‘check’ all of your ‘isms’ at the door. However if you are into open minded thought and discussion, reading, art and creativity in all of its shapes and forms then the Word Berlin is the place for you!