Marcus Books on the brink of closure | Neighborhoods | San Francisco Examiner
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Julian Davis
Sunday, June 9th, 2013 415-823-3250
FILLMORE COMMUNITY RALLIES TO PRESERVE MARCUS BOOKS
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – On Monday, June 10th at 10:30am, a diverse group of community members, civic leaders, and organizations will gather to advocate for the preservation of Marcus Book Store. The bookstore currently faces eviction.
Founded in 1960 with the mission of printing and selling “books by and about Black People everywhere,” Marcus Books is the oldest black-owned bookstore in the county. It has been located at 1712 Fillmore Street since 1981. The bookstore had been under threat of foreclosure due to predatory lending when Nishan and Suhaila Sweis recently purchased the property after a bankruptcy court proceeding.
“Many of our families and businesses have been displaced due to gentrification and predatory lending. As a community, we need to make efforts to preserve businesses, such as Marcus Books, to keep our culture and history alive in this neighborhood,” said Ed Donaldson, chairman of the San Francisco chapter of the Home Defenders League.
Westside Community Services, an established agency in the Western Addition that has partnered with Marcus Books to provide services for many years, has offered to repurchase the property from the Sweis family in order to keep the bookstore at its current site. “We’ve made a very good offer, in excess of the purchase price,” said Dr. Mary Ann Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Westside. “We hope that the Sweises will accept it and that they understand what an incommensurable loss it would be if Marcus Books was forced out,” she added.
Marcus Books has hosted thousands of authors including Oprah Winfrey, Patti Labelle, James Baldwin, B.B. King, Rosa Parks, Toni Morrison, and Malcolm X. Prior to Marcus Books, the storefront was Jimbo’s Bop City, a jazz club that hosted musical greats and is largely responsible for Fillmore Street being named the “Harlem of the West.” Monday’s participants are encouraging the Sweis family to preserve this legacy by selling the property to Westside Community Services.
WHAT: Press conference to preserve Marcus Book Store.
WHO: NAACP, ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment), San Francisco Community Land Trust, Home Defenders League of San Francisco, District 5 Supervisor London Breed, and other community leaders.
WHERE: Marcus Book Store, 1712 Fillmore Street, San Francisco.
WHEN: Monday, June 10th at 10:30am.