Marcus Books is the oldest Black bookstore in the country. These images were taken for Scratch Magazine a few months prior to their eviction from their San Francisco location in 2014. The bookstore was shuttered due to a predatory loan debacle and a city that has not done enough to support it’s Black community.
The store had been a hub for African-American literature, culture, and political life in San Francisco. Rosa Parks and Malcolm X spoke, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison read, and John Coltrane and Duke Ellington played there too.
While Marcus Books is still trying to secure a new site in San Francisco, there is a second Marcus Books bookstore in Oakland at 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.