Named after Marcus Garvey, the family-owned Marcus Books has been a valued bookstore, community center, and hub for Black culture and activism since its inception 54 years ago. In that time, the bookstore has hosted many acclaimed authors and celebrities, including Maya Angelou, Bill Cosby, Rosa Parks, and Oprah.
In 1981, it moved from its original location to 1712 Fillmore, which was previously occupied by the historic jazz club Jimbo's Bop City from 1950 until its closing in 1965. Jazz legends such as John Coltrane, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis were regulars at Bop City, making it a San Francisco institution.
And despite the bookstore's new found status as a historical landmark, the rich-in-history building that houses Marcus Books was sold last year, and the owners are now asking for twice the amount the bookstore has currently been paying in rent. If Marcus Books is unable to raise the $2.6 million dollars that the new owners are asking for, this legendary bookstore will be forced to close.
If you want to help Marcus Books reach its financial goal and continue to operate as a bookstore, meeting place, and rich community hub, grab your iPhones, laptops, what have you and go to their crowd-funding blitz this Saturday, February first, from 2-6 p.m. at the African American Art and Culture Complex (AAACC). Visit the event page for more information.
Alternatively, If you want to support this cause but you can't make it on the first, visit the Support Marcus Books page.