My name is Fatuma Hydara, Tuma for short, and I am an educator and reader-entrepreneur.
I've always been book-obsessed. As a child, I hid under my covers with a flashlight reading late into the night. Growing up, books and stories were gateways into worlds and experiences that were so different from my own as the oldest daughter of West African, Muslim immigrants, living in The Bronx, NY. Reading opened up my world and made me the open-minded, empathetic, and intellectual person that I am. In addition, I value the power of connection, service, and providing others with what they need. I truly believe that knowledge is power and equity. A person might lack certain opportunities, but you can always read and learn. I believe that the more we learn about others, the more accepting and tolerable we become. So, reading is not only fun, but it helps make you a better fellow human.
How I Got Started
While I chose teaching as my life's work, I've always secretly wanted to have my own bookstore to further share my love of words, books, and reading. The chaos of Covid-19 and quarantine has provided me with time to further explore this dream. After weeks of waffling, Tuma's Books and my Monthly Book Club was born out of exploring other book boxes and realizing that they lacked cultural diversity. In a publishing industry where books by writers of color/global majority are not mainstream, I wanted to do my part in getting amazing (and often overlooked) books into the hands of readers who would appreciate diversity the most.
I'm still growing, but I'm super excited about helping other readers diversify their reading in authentic and powerful ways.