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Liberation Bookstore owner,Una G. Mulzac, passes at 88

HERB BOYD Special to the AmNews | 12/26/2012, 12:42 p.m.

Mulzac, then in her early 30s, said the package contained 50 pounds of dynamite.

She was rushed to the hospital and remained there for six weeks. Many concluded the bomb was planted by the CIA, which had allegedly been involved in a number of explosions and acts of sabotage with the aim of preventing the emergence of a Cuba-like nation in South America.

After returning to the United States for treatment for her damaged eyes, she was ready to get back to Guyana, but things had changed there dramatically from a political standpoint, ending her commitment to the struggle there.

But her determination was undaunted, and she continued her fight for justice and equality on the home front. Mulzac and her sister Claire were as vigilant in their support of Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Central Park Five and other causes as they were keeping the bookstore humming with activity.

In 2005, a fire raged through the store and most of the stock was either completely destroyed or damaged by water. It was the final setback after several years of strife with the landlord, who had threatened to evict her on at least three occasions.

"I haven't been able to open the store on a regular basis since the fire," Mulzac told the AmNews at the time. She wasn't sure then when the repairs would be completed.

For several years after the fire, the store was but a burnt-out shell. The most recent attempt to restore the property resulted in an unfinished bodega.

Shortly after the disaster, Mulzac was beset with what was later diagnosed as the early stages of dementia. Her condition became so troubled that friends and relatives rallied to assist her. If anything, the ongoing feud with the store's landlord and the mysterious fire broke her heart and ended whatever dreams she had of resuming her business.

"She was a sweetheart," said Councilman Charles Barron.

Mulzac's legacy in the community is unimpeachable, and she leaves to mourn her passing thousands of friends and a host of relatives, including her sister Claire; her niece, Gertrude; cousins Henry Mulzac and Letitia Mulzac; and a number of grand-nieces and -nephews. She was predeceased by her sisters, Elaine Hackley and Joyce Chamberlayne, and her brother, Hugh Mulzac Jr. She was also related to Johnny Mulzac, a Tuskegee Airman.

There will be no funeral services but a memorial is planned for April.