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In 2022, there were approximately 2,500 bookstore locations in the United States, according to Statista. Sales at bookstores were on a decline and hit a $6.5 billion dollar low in 2020 during the pandemic. However, the numbers are now starting to stabilize. Despite the fluctuation in sales at bookstores, one Black-owned brand is going against the odds and opening a brick-and-mortar children’s bookstore.
Liberation Station is on a mission to spread Black literacy, legacy and liberation with the introduction of its Black-owned, family-led children’s bookstore. The bookstore began as a pop-up shop but has developed into a popular brand with the need for a permanent location. Victoria Scott-Miller’s initial vision for the bookstore was to provide a safe space that offers high-quality books for Black children to show them that they are represented in literature. Early patrons were serviced through mobile pop-ups held throughout the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. Since Liberation Station began operating out of the trunk of her car in 2019, Scott-Miller has been able to witness the impact of her efforts.
The niche bookstore is set to open a brick-and-mortar location for Liberation Station in the heart of downtown Raleigh. The Liberation Station bookstore is expected to be 364 square feet with four sections. The first section will be a diaspora wall that follows the voyage of the Transatlantic Map, while the second section will focus on Black youth ranging in age from birth to 18. Section three will be exclusive to books that are under attack in school curriculums and the final section will feature paired works of adult and child literature. The fourth section helps to provide conversation starters and bridge the generational gaps that can exist among families.
Liberation Station has been pushing to accomplish four levels of funding to equip the store with a reception desk, seating, shelving, branding and more. The store will likely have a Juneteenth grand opening with book signings, art exhibits and other activities. Anyone interested in donating to Liberation Station Bookstore can contribute here.