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Salina Nasir

Marcus Books in Oakland

On the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and 39th Street in Oakland lies a quaint, red brick bookstore decorated with murals of prominent black figures and tattooed with bold lettering. I spotted Malcolm X on one side of the building and on the other, the outline of Africa accompanied by the virtues “dignity,” “honor,” “respect,” “justice” and “compassion.” Inside Marcus Books, a wealth of stories echo the same themes—from Maya Angelou’s complete poetry book to James Baldwin’s I…

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