Marcus Books located at 1712 Fillmore St in the Fillmore district of San Francisco, is America’s oldest Black-owned bookstore going back to the 1960’s. In the ongoing gentrification battles of San Francisco, Marcus Books was the latest victim of a forced buy out by real estate speculators, Sweis. Marcus Books‘ owners, the Johnsons family were locked out of their property this past May 6th, their store’s contents, books, memorabilia, and other valuables were destroyed by Sweis, while the Johnsons’ and community members were trying to discuss the possibilities of saving or buying the building. Marcus Books is a historical, cultural landmark and institution to the remaining African American community in San Francisco, the greater San Francisco, the greater Bay Area, and the nation. To loose such a historical, cultural landmark and institution is a great loss to students, the local community, and the nation at large, hindering cultural learning and exchanges (by the contents of the bookstore) for future generations.
This is a statement by the AACE (Alliance of Californian for Community Empowerment) followed by a link to the petition.
On May 6th, the locks to Marcus Books were changed. After decades as a community institution, the Johnsons have not been allowed back in yet. However, we’ve been fighting to save the last Black-owned book store in San Francisco and we’re not going to stop now.
The new owners, the Sweis, are real estate speculators and have refused the Johnson’s access to the bookstore to pack their things. Within a week, the bookstore was broken into and items were stolen. Now, the Sweis are dumping and destroying the contents of the bookstore.
We are asking everyone to sign this petition and call the Sweis’ and demand they do the following:
* Stop the destruction of the Marcus Bookstore Property NOW!
*Let the Johnsons, the proprietors of the bookstore to access their things and pack
*Compensate the bookstore for what was stolen in the time the Sweis refused access to the bookstore and for anything that has been destroyed or dumped since the eviction
*Sell the property BACK to the community through San Francisco Community Land Trust
Folks are asking that people not support the Sweis’ cab company City Wide Cab or Ryal Cab
Maya Angelou’s early ties to Marcus Books in S.F. [SF Gate]
Info via Davey D