In 1996, Nana established Manchester’s first African Caribbean specialist book service at the West Indian Centre, Carmoor Road. Nana was not afraid to put his money where his mouth was and the establishment of this specialist bookshop was a formidable gift on his part. Through this bookshop, he helped many people to begin exploring areas of African people’s history and culture, that were once beyond their reach.
He wanted to use every avenue to educate the black community about themselves, especially through published works written by black people. He tried to provide this education through books, audio and video formats. The time he spent in finding a range of authors for both adults and children, tells us he was not using this venture for personal gain.
In Manchester, this bookshop opened its doors to generate a greater level of interest in books written by some of the world’s leading African authors and scholars.
The shop operated a mobile service throughout the North West of England. He was keen on ensuring that the supply of published books and works was accessible to the wider community, especially where African Caribbean people were hosting events. Further, he invited school teachers in Manchester from many schools to visit Carmoor Road, to look at the stock for relevant titles for their classrooms.
No customer would go unnoticed; he had a unique touch. He could give a swift lecture on any subject from his titles. It could be about the author or the work itself and funnily enough he had a way of telling the customer what he believed the publication could do for developing their mind.
Many people came to know him through his book trade. “Berry Edwards! You mean that man who sells the black books at Carmoor Road, at my University, and everywhere black people were having their functions!” ( – Anonymous).