Keep the country's oldest black-owned bookstore in San Francisco
  • Petitioned Nishan and Suhaila Sweis

This petition was delivered to:

Nishan and Suhaila Sweis

Keep the country's oldest black-owned bookstore in San Francisco

    1. Petition by

      Jasmine Johnson

      San Francisco, CA

Marcus Books is the oldest black-owned bookstore in the county. It has been located on San Francisco's Fillmore Street since 1981. The bookstore currently faces eviction.

After a predatory loan, the San Francisco bookstore was under threat of foreclosure. The building was sold off in bankruptcy court to real estate investors, Nishan and Suhaila Sweis, who own a taxicab company and specialize in finding distressed properties for investment opportunities.

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."

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."

We are asking the Sweis family to preserve this legacy by selling the property to Westside Community Services.

Nishan and Suhaila Sweis
Preserve the legacy of Marcus Books and keep the country's oldest black-owned bookstore in San Francisco.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 15,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Sandra Holmes NEWARK, NJ
      • 21 days ago

      Knowledge is empowering. I admire Dick Gregory who chides African people for not investing more time in reading and analizing our materials..

    • Aliya Headen BSN RN HERNDON, VA
      • 4 months ago

      Bastions of Afro-American history should always be supported and celebrated. I have never been to this store but it's historical relevance to our journey as a people in this country is beautiful to me.

    • Barry Ruffin PORTLAND, OR
      • 5 months ago

      This resource to unfiltered, non culturally biased reading material should remain relevant

    • Marlo Muhammad SEATTLE, WA
      • 5 months ago

      Love Black bookstores

    • Carl Johnson JACKSONVILLE, FL
      • 5 months ago

      Due to the ongoing efforts to subdue or eradicate anything of Black historical significance, its imperative to hold onto the ones that are left.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.