May 11, 2014


One of the oldest black-owned bookstores in the nation has been evicted from its longtime home in a historic San Francisco neighborhood.

The co-owners of Marcus Book Stores in the Fillmore District said in an open letter this week that the property owner changed the locks after they fell behind on rent payments. The store has been shuttered since Tuesday.

The bookstore, which emerged as a pillar in the black community since its opening in the area once nicknamed “The Harlem of the West,” celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. It was named after early 20th century black nationalist Marcus Garvey and has been at its current location since the early 1980s.

“San Francisco is a classic example of a city unexcelled in its liberalism. But the black population of San Francisco today is less than half of what it was back in 1970, even though the city’s total population has grown,” Thomas Sowell noted last year in a piece titled, “Liberalism versus Blacks.”

As Sowell wrote, “Severe restrictions on building housing in San Francisco have driven rents and home prices so high that blacks and other people with low or moderate incomes have been driven out of the city. The same thing has happened in a number of other California communities dominated by liberals.”