Rooted in Family, History, and Farish Street: Marshall's Music and Book Store

Marshall's Music and Book Store, located on historic Farish Street in Downtown Jackson, has a rich and storied history that has spanned five owners and three generations of one family.

Primm. Credit: The Tell Agency

Maati Jone Primm, the current owner and operator of the Christian bookstore, has been there almost every day for the past seventeen years. She initially thought she would get it up and running and travel back and forth to Chicago. "No one told me Yazoo Clay is concrete," she jokes.

Marshall's Book Store holds the honor of being the nation's oldest operating bookstore owned by a Black person and was added to the Congressional Record in 2022. The store is in its second location, just a few doors from the original. The choice to remain on Farish Street is not only intentional, it is a testament to the history that lives in the Farish Street District. "We MUST be here on Farish Street," Primm said. "There's just no other way," a true feat of bravery and commitment spanning over 60 years.

Focusing on famous Mississippians from varied backgrounds, Marshall's Music and Book Store continues to promote the accomplishments of Black individuals in sports, entertainment, writing, and activism. The shop offers sheet music, Christian books, and church supplies such as communion wafers, nametags, and tithing envelopes, among many other things.

Marshall's is considered an institution, a destination, and a staple to the community. Just as generations have run the bookstore, so have generations supported and shopped there. "We have elders now, who came in holding the hands of their grandparents, they are coming in holding the hands of their grandchildren," Primm said.

For more information about the store, call 601-355-5335 or visit it at 618 North Farish Street in Downtown Jackson, Mississippi.

Erin McKewen


Erin McKewen