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This Cultural Landmark Has Zero Plans to Leave SF

These bookshelves were destroyed, but Marcus Books hopes to rebuild. Photo via <a href="">Marcus Books</a>
These bookshelves were destroyed, but Marcus Books hopes to rebuild. Photo via Marcus Books

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Marcus Books was a mainstay in SF for the last 53 years, but its eviction from 1712 Fillmore Street last May put an end to the country's first (and longest running) black bookstore—at least, for now. Co-owners Karen and Greg Johnson have penned an article in the San Francisco BayView to "clear up misconceptions that have surfaced" and to spell out a plan for reopening the store. Although the events that led to the store's closing were riddled with challenges, Karen and Greg are "committed to maintaining the rich cultural heritage" and have no plans of giving up.

Now, there are new hurdles to overcome. The Johnsons write that the building's new owners "[dismantled the] African American-owned legacy business —recently designated by City officials as a cultural landmark"— and go on to explain:

After a whole month of denying us access to our possessions, they hired workers to go into the store and demolish the bookcases and furniture, taking some inventory, throwing away other items, stealing musical instruments, sound systems, professional tools, art work and other miscellaneous items necessary to any retail store.

Karen and Greg want to buy the building back and to reopen the store, but real estate is a tricky game here in SF; it's possible they won't be able to get the space at a reasonable price. To help support Marcus Books in its effort to reopen in SF, consider donating here. Or, to offer words of support and thoughts on the the store, leave comments for Karen and Greg here.
· What's next for Marcus Book Store? [San Francisco BayView]
· After 53 Years, the Country's Oldest Black Bookstore Has Closed [Racked SF]

Marcus Books

1712 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115