Jun 16, 2023 - News

New Black, family-owned bookstore opens in Raleigh

Photo: Courtesy of Liberation Station Bookstore

Black-owned bookseller Liberation Station will open its doors of its new storefront for the first time Friday morning.

  • The family-run business, which got its start in 2019 as a pop-up, specializes in kids' books by Black authors, illustrators and publishers, and about Black children and families. Adults can also choose from a selection of books by Black authors.

What's happening: The independent bookstore will kick off a weekend of festivities celebrating its grand opening Saturday from 11am-3pm.

  • Award-winning children's book authors — including ​​Charlotte's Derrick Barnes, who wrote "The King of Kindergarten,” and Durham's Alison Hawkins, who illustrated "Little People, Big Dreams: Nelson Mandela” — will be at the event to sign books. (Lucille loves the Nelson Mandela book.)
  • On Sunday, children and parents will be able to interact with historical documents.
  • On Monday, the store will celebrate Juneteenth with a Liberation Walk from the North Carolina Capitol building to the bookstore alongside Black equestrians at noon.

Stop by: The bookstore is located on the second floor of 208 Fayetteville St., in the same building as The Original Selfie Museum. (Head's up: Google Maps took Lucille to Salisbury Street, but you can't enter through that side of the building.)

  • Hours are 11am-6pm Wednesday-Saturday and noon-5pm Sunday.
  • It currently has more than 1,000 titles.

Catch up quick: Victoria Scott-Miller and her family were inspired to start their own bookstore after Scott-Miller and her oldest son spent nearly five hours at a major chain bookstore hunting for uplifting books featuring characters of color. They walked away with just five.

  • That experience inspired Scott-Miller, alongside her husband Duane Miller and two sons, Langston and Emerson, to open a pop-up bookstore out of the trunk of their car to sell books their sons could see themselves in.

What they're saying: "Kids don't deserve to be burdened with the outside of what society tells them," Scott-Miller said at a preview event for the bookstore Wednesday. "They get to come in here, and they get to be curious."

  • "I know as a Black child growing up in this country, that I come to Liberation Station. I don't have to go on a scavenger hunt for a narrative that represents me in a positive light. Everything is for me."

The big picture: Liberation Station joins a growing cohort of Black-owned businesses near the historic Black Main Street, once a thriving hub of Black businesses near the intersection of Salisbury Street and Hargett Street.

  • Nearby Black-owned stores include clothing boutique Nashone and Black Friday Market.

"This is our love letter to the city of Raleigh," Scott-Miller said in a release.

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