Oldest Black-Owned Bookstore in the Country Founded 60 Years Ago is Still Thriving

Based in Oakland, California, Marcus Books is the nation’s oldest Black-owned bookstore. Created by the Richardson family in the 1960s, Marcus Books is still thriving and going strong, allowing Black history and Black writers to be recognized.

Originally, Dr. Julian Richardson and his wife Dr. Raye Richardson named their establishment Success Book Store. It was located in San Fransisco’s Fillmore district inside their printing shop. Eventually they named it Marcus Books to honor the loved legendary, Black extraordinaire, Marcus Garvey.

Marcus Books is family-owned bookstore that’s currently managed by their children. Their daughter, Karen Johnson said her father has always wanted to open a bookstore “for and by Black people.” Despite some of their bookstore locations closed due to rising rents, the Oakland location is still thriving.

“I used to go there when it was in the Fillmore,” Maureen Sullivan, a teacher-librarian told Fox KTVU. “It’s an institution. It’s too bad that it’s no longer in San Francisco and there’s hope that will happen again. I’m really glad that Marcus Books still thrives in Oakland.”

“I’ve known about this place since college,” said new author Daud Jadi. “For me it was a natural thing, a natural progression, to come here first because if I can get my book in Marcus Bookstore then I’ve accomplished something in my life.”

Nearly 60 years in the business, Marcus Books is still here, strong, and thriving. This is Black excellence.

Learn more about Marcus Books, visit http://marcusbooksoakland.com

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