Terry McMillan, Randall Robinson, California Cooper, Nikki Giovanni, Iyanla Vansant mark Marcus’ 50th anniversary

Marcus Books follows up the major booksignings with Ishmael, Tennessee and Timothy Reed and Isabel Wilkerson this month with a power-packed lineup of authors during October to mark its 50th anniversary as the oldest black bookstore in the nation.
While in the 1712 Fillmore Street store this morning, I read a directory that co-founder Julian Richardson put together of black businesses in San Francisco in 1959 and saw a photo of Richardson with iconic judges Joseph Kennedy and Cecil Poole. It had only been three years since Poole had a cross burned in his yard in San Francisco, but Richardson was in front of a sign “Books About Negroes, Africa and Africans.”
The store served as a catalyst for the five decades of commercial success for black authors, a point each of the October presenters can personally testify to.
Terry McMillan reads from her new book Getting to Happy on Saturday, Oct. 2 at the Black Repertory Theatre, 3201 Adeline St. in Berkeley at 5 p.m.
Randall Robinson reads from An Unbroken Agony: Haiti from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 5 p.m. at the Black Repertory Theatre. He is joined by panelists Pierre Labossiere and Walter Turner.
On Saturday, Oct. 23, J. California Cooper, author of Life is Short, and poet Nikki Giovanni, author of Bicycles: Love Poems, come to the Black Repertory Theatre.
Iyanla Vanzant capps the month on Saturday, Oct. 30 with the 20th anniversary edition of Tapping the Power Within.
Tickets for the Oct. 2 program at $10. The other three programs are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.
Advance tickets can be purchased either at Marcus Books-Oakland, 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way or Marcus Books-San Francisco at 1712 Fillmore St.