America’s oldest black-owned bookstore might soon have to close its 50-year-old doors. Supplying African-American literature since the 1960s with books by and from everyone including Angela Davis, Malcolm X and Sidney Poitier. Facing foreclosure, this historic bookstore is raising its fists to remain in existence in San Francisco, reports The San Francisco Examiner.
Marcus Books was purchased for a quarter of its speculated worth when a bankruptcy trustee sold the bookstore to real estate investors for $1.59 million. After the sale, the bookstore was slammed with an order to pack their bags and leave by June 18th.
Gregory Johnson and his wife Karen both run the bookstore and noted that their financial troubles began after taking out a bad loan to cover towering expenses. The couple borrowed $950,000 with a dreadful 10 percent interest rate. Payments for the building added up to an overwhelming $10,000 per month. Moreover, Marcus Books is faced with the same competition with Amazon that retail giants like Barnes & Noble struggle with.
The NAACP, housing activists, and the surrounding neighborhood are all trying to convince the buyers of the momentous bookstore to sell the building to a nonprofit that’s making an offer yielding a small profit. The store is not only a place for books, but is used for other services, like working with the unemployed. If you’d like to sign that petition, the Change.org page is still seeking signatures.