CAM Raleigh, the downtown art museum, will host a fundraiser on May 18, 2023 in support of the bookstore’s opening.
RALEIGH, N.C. (May 3, 2023) — The opening of Liberation Station Bookstore, North Carolina’s first Black-owned children’s bookstore, will be celebrated throughout the upcoming Juneteenth weekend with events featuring bestselling and award-winning Black children’s book authors and illustrators, Black historians and even Black equestrians.
“We’ve dreamed up a grand opening that is beyond our ancestors’ wildest dreams, one that acknowledges our place in North Carolina history while unearthing a diverse spectrum of affirming Black images from every fabric of our life,” said Victoria Scott-Miller, who is opening the brick-and-mortar location of Liberation Station Bookstore, which started in 2019 as a pop-up store.
This Black-owned, family-led independent bookstore was inspired by Scott-Miller’s struggle to find children’s books with uplifting stories featuring characters of color during a family outing to a chain bookstore. That experience led Scott-Miller, her husband, Duane Miller, and her sons, Langston and Emerson, to start Liberation Station Bookstore specializing in children’s literature by Black authors or Black illustrators that centers on the joys of Black childhood and Black families. It will open on the second floor of 208 Fayetteville St., joining a cluster of black-owned businesses near downtown Raleigh’s historic Black Main Street.
Last month, Scott-Miller launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $20,000 to support the store’s opening. Within a month, they have raised almost $15,000. Contributions can be made at https://thebullsofdurham.com/campaigns/liberation-stationed until May 16, 2023.
The public is invited to attend an in-person, community-led fundraiser hosted by CAM Raleigh from 6:30-8:30 p.m. May 18, 2023. Tickets cost $100 per person and can be purchased at https://liberationstationed.eventbrite.com.
Here is the schedule of the opening weekend festivities:
The bookstore’s ribbon cutting and grand opening will be from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 17 with notable children’s book authors available to sign books. They include:
- Derrick Barnes, who wrote the 2022 graphic novel “Victory. Stand!-Raising My Fist For Justice” (National Book Award finalist), “Crown: an Ode to a Fresh Cut” (Caldecott and Newbery honors), and New York Times bestselling books, “I am Every Good Thing” and “The King of Kindergarten,” among many others.
- Tameka Fryer Brown, who wrote “That Flag,” “Brown Baby Lullaby,” “My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood” and “Not Done Yet: Shirley Chisholm’s Fight for Change.”
- Jesse Byrd, who wrote “King Penguin” (Paris Book Festival Top 3 Book of the Year), “Sunny Days,” “Real Jungle Tales” and more.
- Peaches Dean, author of “Memories of My Mommy” and “Penelope B’s Great Mission.”
- Alison Hawkins, who illustrated “The Noisy Classroom,” “What Would Fashion Look Like If It Included All of Us” and “Little People, Big Dreams: Nelson Mandela.”
- Kelly Starling Lyons, who wrote “Going Down Home with Daddy” (Caldecott honor), “Ty’s Travels: Zip, Zoom!” (Geisel Honor Book) and many more.
- Shelia P. Moses, who wrote “The Legend of Buddy Bush” (National Book Award finalist, Coretta Scott King award winner), “We Were the Fire: Birmingham 1963” and more.
- Vanessa Brantley Newton, who illustrated the New York Times bestseller, “The King of Kindergarten,” and companion book, “The Queen of Kindergarten,” and more.
- Alana Tyson, author of “My Red, White, and Blue.”
- Lamar Whidbee, who wrote and illustrated “1..2..3..4 Breathe” with his son, Stone.
From noon-3 p.m. Sunday, June 18, the bookstore will host a White Glove Day where children and their parents can see and interact with historical documents. Those include handwritten letters between Frederick Douglass and a Baltimore bookstore owner as well as first edition signed copies of banned books by such authors as James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston and Bell Hooks. On June 1, 2023, customers will be able to sign up for time slots liberationstationbookstore.com. Also on Sunday, Raleigh historian Carmen Cauthen and Barbara Allen, the sixth-generation granddaughter of Sojourner Truth, the American abolitionist, women’s rights activist and former slave, will be signing books.
On Monday, June 19, the bookstore is organizing a Liberation Walk from the N.C. state capitol to the bookstore with a group of Black equestrians. Afterward, the bookstore will host book signings by Caitlin Gooch, who is known as ‘The Black Cowgirl’ and founded the nonprofit Saddle Up and Read.
After the grand opening weekend, Liberation Station Bookstore will be open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday at 208 Fayetteville St., Suite 201, Raleigh, N.C. 27601. For updates, follow on Instagram, @liberationstationbookstore or visit liberationstationbookstore.com.