About Us

The Black Book Exchange Box℠ is on a mission to make it easier to discover, read, and share books that thoughtfully represent Black people and culture.

TBBEB was established in 2019 as a City of Grand Rapids Neighborhood Match Fund Project by which its first book houses were built and installed.

In 2020, it formed as a non-profit organization to expand its book exchange system and bring long-term literacy and reading initiatives to the local community and beyond.


  • TBBEB was nominated for a 2020 Grand Rapids Area Black Business “GRABB Award” and was honored with its NC Mutual Life Insurance Collaboration Award for exemplifying collaboration and fostering innovative relationships and practices over and above standard and traditional ones—as well as alliances that achieved exceptional results!

  • During the City of Grand Rapids’ 2020 State of the City Address, Mayor Roslyn Bliss acknowledged TBBEB as a “powerful example” of creating beautiful community spaces.

Food for Thought

Black literature is taught as sociology, as tolerance, but not as a serious and rigorous art form

- Toni Morrison

Our Team

Aarie J. Wade

Aarie Wade, MSW is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Black Book Exchange Box. She is an early childhood leader and describes herself as an unapologetic advocate for social justice who works to disrupt systems created to oppress Black people.

Kendra R. McNeil

Kendra McNeil is the founder of multicultural bookshop and literary platform, We Are LIT. She is Chief Operating Officer of TBBEB. Her work centers around creating a culture and a lifestyle around literature in the local community and beyond. McNeil is an avid traveler and lover of books.