About us!

About us: 

The Collective - Oakland is a Black owned bookstore founded by Michelle Walton and Wesley Dawan on September 18, 2019. We are currently operating fully online, but our goal - our dream - is to open a brick and mortar location in January 2021.

Our motto is:

READ something DOPE

DRINK something GOOD

CHILL somewhere COOL

Michelle & Wesley have a shared love for literature and unique experiences, involving coffee and handcrafted cocktails, which has turned into the passion project of opening up a book bar. The Collective Oakland will not only be a bookstore, but a gathering place for people to share stories and experiences. We feel that others will appreciate and benefit from curated experiences that encourage conversation and self exploration.

While we are a small team and have been operating online only, we hit the ground running with several offerings that have found great success and have built a loyal subscriber/customer base.

  • The Collective Minds Book Club has found amazing success online. In only four short months we have gained 150 participants and a local chapter starting in the Bay Area in January.
  • Our subscription box, which we started only a few months ago, has gained 150 subscribers and each box gets bigger and better.
  • Growth of book purchases & in person delivery
  • Social growth/performance


We are incredibly proud of the success we’ve achieved online, but are eager to expand and have a physical space for our growing community. We believe that a physical location will address a number of problems that we’ve observed in the literary space, including:


  1. Little to no cultural representation in physical bookstores of Black literature.
  2. Bookstores do not encourage community, open dialogue, nor a gathering place to enjoy literature.
  3. While historical/well-known authors are highly visible, many contemporaries & independent writers find it difficult to also have a platform to be seen.


This is why we’ve come to you - our community - to help us hit the ground running with this lofty goal. Securing a physical location for The Collective - Oakland will inherently address these issues by acting as a central meeting location for like-minded bibliophiles interested in the growth of Black literary spaces. We will celebrate diverse writers with a particular focus on Black literature. The Collective - Oakland will be your modern-day book bar providing literature, cocktails, conversations, and coffee, all in the spirit of community. This will be a space to highlight upcoming writers and authors through book signings, conversations, panels, etc. Our target audience is anyone that is passionate and curious about literature, with an emphasis on up and coming Black or diverse authors.



  1. If I find a book on your site, does that mean it's currently in stock at your store?
    • Not necessarily. If your order is time sensitive, please call us to confirm availability.
  2. I received a confirmation e-mail. Does this mean that my order is ready to be picked up or has been shipped?
    • No. This just means that we've received your order, you will be contacted when your order has shipped or is ready to be picked up.
  3. When will I get my book(s)?
    • For in stock orders we strive to ship them within 7 business day and delivery time depends on the method of shipping selected. For orders with out of stock items, we will provide an estimated date of shipment.
  4. What if I need to return something?
    • Please review our return policies and contact us with any further questions.
  5. What forms of payment do you accept?
    •  We accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express and if you're picking up in store, you may pay in cash.
  6. How can I check the status of my order?
    • Log in, select 'My Account' and Orders' a list of all orders and their current status is provided.