Gentrification in DC Threatens Iconic Black-Owned Bookstore ‘Sankofa’

Maria Perez SAVE THIS

Sankofa Bookstore in DC (Facebook).

One of the oldest Black-owned bookstores in Washington, DC is in jeopardy of closing due to high property taxes.

Sankofa Video, Books & Cafe, located on Georgia Avenue, is an African video and bookstore that opened in 1998. The store was named after the famous film by its filmmaking owners Haile and Shirikiana Gerima, according to the store’s website. Sankofa is an Adinkra symbol for “going back to our past in order to go forward,” the store’s website states. Sankofa is now in jeopardy of shutting its doors forever due to gentrification and the rise of property taxes.

“Being in DC has been a lot of work in terms of our relationship with the city,” Shirikiana Gerima told WUSA9. “Now with gentrification, the relationship has become more hostile so that the taxes we have to pay each year — $30,000 — is completely…

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