Know Allegiance Nation (KAN) is a village building enterprise that seeks to build a nation of knowledge seekers. Opening a bookstore provides access to consciousness raising and literacy resources for the North End and the entire city of Detroit. KAN has created and taught reading, writing and self-publishing workshops and hopes to help inspire the next generation of writers to aspire to literary heights by seeing local authors and established creatives in the same bookstore with their self-published material.
Know Allegiance Nation Books or KAN Books is a bookstore dedicated to authors and artists of color in Michigan and around the globe. The bookstore and the KAN Books Co-op was created to be a worker co-operative business to support Michigan artists and authors of color to have more brick and mortar places to sell their work. We aspire to support as many authors and artists as possible as we do not believe in the terminology of a “starving artist”. KAN Books believes that authors and artists can sustain their livelihoods from what they create and share with the world.
(Jamii Tata, Illuminate Instructor, Pictured Far Right; Illuminate Students Pictured Left. Photo by Ara Howrani.)
Jamii Tata is a parent, artist and educator who utilizes creative writing, performance poetry, storytelling, audio production, self-publishing and entrepreneurial training as Literacy Learning tools to educate inner city youth in community spaces (i.e. libraries, community centers, schools and community gardens). Jamii Tata created Know Allegiance Nation in 2005 to help close the the educational gap by teaching and working toward increasing the literacy rates of our children outside of an institutional school system.
He is also a community organizer having led campaigns on technology literacy, artivism, youth empowerment, “homelessness”, food access, neighborhood revitalization and community radio. He has worked in the non-profit sector his entire career and gives back all he has learned to the community and neighborhood that has groomed him through Know Allegiance Nation.
Know Allegiance Nation houses the Illuminate: Literacy Entrepreneurs program, Operation Rebel Community Radio Initiative, and Uhuru Sasa Farms; focusing on basic literacy through poetry; advanced literacy through broadcast journalism and survival literacy through agrarianism and land justice and agriculture and food justice respectively. KAN Books and the KAN Books Co-op are also initiatives of Know Allegiance Nation. Jamii Tata leads these initiatives as KAN’s Creative Director.