African American Book Store
To foster a greater understanding and awareness of Afro-centric literature, history and art through books, events and community service.
To focus on connecting people of different ethnic groups to the history and accomplishments of people of African decent.
To always project a positive mood and image.
To be an example for other businesses to follow.
MMB’s mandate is to be the best and most professional African American Book store in the country. We offer only quality products at a fair price.
Who We Are
Mood Makers is first and foremost an Independent African American bookstore with a focus on Books, Gifts and Art.
There are no strangers at Mood Makers Books. The mood is always friendly and pleasant. Our store is divided into four main areas for your convenience; books, greeting cards, gifts/collectibles and art gallery.
We provide a comfortable reading area. When you enter MMB, our trademark is the large diverse collection of children and adult books. From the atmosphere, you know you are in a space of comfort … just take your time and browse shelf after shelf of books by and about people of African descent.
As you browse the store you can’t help but admire the sculptures of Thomas Blackshear’s Ebony Vision Limited Edition and other notable art and figurine designers. You may want to take a few minutes and browse the original art or poetry. Studio 1 on the second floor host a number of events; open mic night, book clubs, book signings, workshops and community out-reach programs. Our annual “Poetry in the Window™” is one of the best attended events of the year. To get the feel of Mood Makers … you have to visit the store!
Mood Makers Books is the creation of Curtis and Marie Rivers. They wanted to create a bookstore that went beyond your usual formula bookstore. A store that would make people feel welcome without actually saying the words. The décor and atmosphere says Welcome!
Mood Makers Books was established in March of 1994 at the Village Gate Square, an old manufacturing building turned specialty mall with restaurants, gift shops, art studios and commercial offices. Village Gate is located on the east end of Rochester, New York, in a section of town known as the “Neighborhood of the Arts”. A perfect place for a unique bookstore.
Mood Makers Books was first located on the third floor of Village Gate. The store space was small… just large enough to fit a few shelves of books with tall white walls, just right for displaying artwork. At first, MMB sold only original artwork by Thurman Rivers, brother of Curtis and a few books and cards. In the Fall of 1994 MMB moved into a much larger space, but by the summer of 1997 they were running out of space again and expanded next door.
The store continues to grow and they continued to expand the book and other product lines. In April of 2011 they moved to their present location on the first floor of Village Gate. Original art by Thurman Rivers of Nashville Tennessee is still a focal point. When visiting Rochester New York … don’t forget to stop in at Mood Makers and let them “create the right mood” for you in Books, Art, Cards and Collectibles.
Shop our Gift Center for that special item for yourself, family and friends. You will find unique box cards, picture frames, note cards, mugs, beautifully designed figurines of African American historical leaders, journals and much more.
The Art Department spotlights sculptures by Thomas Blackshear. His nationally known sculptures are available at MMB in limited quantities. We are also a Retail Club Center for the Blackshear Circle Club. Thomas Blackshear has earned numerous awards including the international Collectible 2001 Artist Award. Blackshear provides collectors with sculptures of personal significance, high quality and value. The sculptures we have available are listed on this page.