Last week, Geoffrey’s Inner Circle in Oakland hosted “The Benefit of Words,” a performance event benefitting Marcus Books. The night was filled with music, poetry, and art to honor the oldest African American bookstore in the nation.
Hosted by actor Delroy Lindo, the event held on Saturday, March 14 featured artists such as Prentice Powell, Ryan Nicole, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Barry Shabaka Henley, Chinaka Hodge, Jennifer Johns, Youth Speaks, Young Gifted and Black, and Kev Choice.
“The event provided the community with a night to appreciate Marcus and to celebrate the generations of older and younger performers,” said Blanche Richardson, owner of Marcus Books.
Marcus Books was originally founded in 1960 in San Francisco. The current location is 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Oakland.
Bay Area based poet, playwright, screenwriter, and educator Chinaka Hodge stated, “Marcus Books is where I learned to read and now I teach upwards of 40,000 young people how to use their words everyday.”
Since its founding, Marcus Books has been more than just a store. It has served as a meeting place to discuss Black issues and organizing strategies. It was the birthplace of the Bay Area Black Panther Party, and a breeding ground for Black cultural knowledge in the Bay Area.
Today, with its loyal customers and a wide selection of African American literature, Marcus Books is still a powerful center for developing Black critical consciousness.
For more information, visit marcusbooksoakland.com.