Local author Victoria Scott-Miller is opening the Triangle’s first Black-owned children’s bookstore in downtown Raleigh this summer. Liberation Station Bookstore will specialize in children’s literature by Black authors and illustrators with a focus on Black children and families.
The nationally-recognized bookstore launched in 2019 as a pop-up shop in the trunk of a car after Victoria, her husband, Duane Miller, and her sons, Langston and Emerson, struggled to find children’s books that featured empowering characters of color. “We left that moment saying that we need to do better, we can do better, and we will do better,” Victoria told RALtoday.
Now, the family is preparing to open Liberation Station’s first permanent shop, located on the second floor of 208 Fayetteville St. above the Original Selfie Museum. Liberation Station’s grand opening is set for Saturday, June 17 and will align with local Juneteenth festivities.
We caught up with Victoria to get a first look at Liberation Station’s soon-to-open storefront.
Why did you choose to make the leap from pop-up shops to a permanent location?
It was time to plant roots. We need to have a space that will become a cultural hub for self-discovery, free of inadequacy and fear, so our children can exist in the vastness of their narratives. And Raleigh deserves it.
Why did you choose downtown Raleigh for Liberation Station’s first storefront?
There’s a revitalization of Black-owned businesses forming in the historic heart of downtown, and I want to be a part of that. The location is accessible to HBCUs, school systems, and museums, and faces the NC State Capitol.
How will you curate the books featured in the shop?
The bookstore will be filled with more than 1,000 narratives in four distinct spaces. It will be a classroom.
The Diaspora Wall will feature a rotating selection of books following the Transatlantic Map. The America Wall explores Black childhood from birth to age 18. Black educators from around the country will make recommendations for the AP African American Studies Wall, paying close attention to legislation and books being removed from curriculum — as that happens, we will add them to our wall. The Anchor Wall will pair adult and children’s titles with similar overarching themes to foster intergenerational conversations.
What else do you have planned for the bookstore?
So much programming. We will host book signings with authors and illustrators, inclusive storytimes, and very intimate conversations — the space is able to hold ~20 people seated.
We also think it’s really important for children to understand preservation. It’s not just about picking something off the shelf and reading it — the kids will learn how to care for the narrative. They will be able to come in and put on white gloves to interact directly with historical artifacts, like first edition, signed copies of James Baldwin and Toni Morrison books and our Frederick Douglass papers.
What do you hope kids take away from Liberation Station?
I hope they learn how to articulate what brings them joy.
What brings you joy?
Boundlessness. The ability to be everything and anything.
Are you working on any new books?
I will be going to multiple museums across the country to write books for “The Museum Lives in Me” series. The objective is to highlight a new teacher, new illustrator, and new adventure at each museum. I can’t say where the latest book takes place yet, but I will say it is a Black woman-led museum in the New York area.
Langston and I are writing a book together called “At Night, They Danced.” It will be published by Simon & Schuster in Spring 2025.