Report: San Francisco Continues to Shed Black Residents, Businesses

With Marcus Books's closure, SF's African-American population continues to decline

By Chris Roberts
|  Thursday, Jun 19, 2014  |  Updated 4:19 PM PDT
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Report: SF Shedding Black Residents, Businesses

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Marcus Books, known as the oldest independent black bookstore in the country, was evicted from its location in San Francisco's Fillmore District.

With Marcus Books, so goes the community -- out of San Francisco.

One of the The Fillmore District's last vestiges of black culture -- Marcus Books, a bookstore that opened for business when the area was the "Harlem of the West" -- has shut down. 

And going out of town along with it are going other black-owned businesses and black people themselves, according to Marketplace.

San Francisco is 6 percent black, below the California average and well below historic highs, when jobs attracted migrants from the South, according to the radio program.

Marcus Books closed after its owners, who also owned the building it was in, fell behind on payments and had the building sold at a foreclosure auction.

A crowdfunding effort to buy the building back failed, and the store was evicted. 

While tech jobs are notoriously un-diverse, the tech boom is not to blame: Black people were leaving well before then, the radio program reported.

Leaders say that a concerted effort is needed to keep African-Americans in the city. If not, the black population in San Francisco will become even smaller.

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