Krystle Hudson, Contributing Writer

Underground Books is an African-American bookstore located within the 40 Acres area in the Oak Park community of Sacramento, CA. The store is managed by Georgia “Mother Rose” West.

The bookstore gets its name from the historical Underground Railroad, based on slavery days where slaves were unable to read and write. The tag line for the store is “Find Your Freedom.”

The bookstore opened in 2003 and was integrated as a larger entity to rejuvenate the Oak Park community.

“Mayor Kevin Johnson who is from Sacramento came back home after playing in the NBA. This is his project,” says Mother Rose. “He wanted a destination place in Oak Park where there would be theatre, books, coffee shop, barbershop and an art gallery.”

The renovation project that took place here in Oak Park played a vital role to the growth of the city.

The opening of the 40 Acres Project helped change Oak Park significantly. Businesses began coming to the city, people bought homes, and a once broken community became whole again.

Underground Books is known for bringing in the most prestigious authors, writers and artists locally and nationally. Some of which have been Dr. Covin, Rex Fortune, Actress Robin Givens, Cornell West, and Sister Souljah. ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Victoria Christopher Murray, are also among many others that have once visited the book store.

The bookstore is also a way for new and emerging authors to get their exposure in the publishing industry by providing a way to market their books.

“We try to support those, in helping them launch their book writing career,” says Mother Rose.

Several different events take place at the bookstore alongside various book signings such as children’s story time, CD release parties and book club meetings.

For more information on the Underground Books, visit or call (916) 737-3333. Located at 2814 35th and Broadway. Their hours are Tuesday through Friday 12 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.


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