Black-Owned Bookstore to Close as Threats Compromise Safety

Serious threats against Liberation Station Bookstore fuel its unfortunate closure. Read on to discover more about this breakthrough bookstore and the circumstances that led to its shutdown.

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Across a wooden table top are white bookshelves stacked with colorful books.

In North Carolina, Liberation Station Bookstore was a pioneering element in its community, providing children’s books by Black and underrepresented authors. Celebrated by Essence, NPR, ABC News, The Washington Post, and the Black Enterprise, this Black-owned bookstore made waves in the community it serves, as well as the world. However, it has been forced to close after severe concerns for the owner and her family’s safety arose after a series of threats. This unbelievable circumstance comes only one year after 4,000 people showed up for Liberation Station Bookstore’s opening day.

A Cry for Accountability

Owner Victoria Scott-Miller’s feelings of love and joy serving her community with her bookstore were undercut by death threats, threats of violence, and hate mail, which intruded on the safety of not only the store itself but also her family. In one shocking incident, an undiscovered suspect called Scott-Miller detailed the clothes her son wore while working alone in the store. Now, threats of violence towards the store and its accessibility fuel Scott-Miller’s decision to shut down operations.

Two hands hold out a connected cut out of four paper people to the sun so that the hands and paper are solid black and the edges of the sky are blue.

In an Instagram post, Scott-Miller stated, “For the past 8-months, we’ve struggled with the immense joy of serving our community and the many blessings we’ve received that allowed us to continue powering this work forward and our experiences with the unsettling reality of facing threats of violence and emotional harm from those who remain nameless and faceless. While this is not a new challenge, it becomes real when these threats are directed towards our physical location and accessibility.”

Fostering Community Care

Victoria Scott-Miller’s mission with Liberation Station Bookstore was to prepare the next generation and her children who worked at the store to live in the world they will inherit. Any inventory not sold by its official closing date of April 13 will be donated to literacy nonprofits. Scott-Miller said she plans to continue her mission through new projects.

A mug with colorful and silly circular cartoon faces holds a bright orange straw on top of a stack of colorful children's books. Everything is on a wooden tabletop against a white background.

Amidst the chaos, in the most recent post on the bookstore’s Instagram, @liberationstationbookstore, Scott-Miller also shared, “We are profoundly grateful for the overwhelming outpouring of love, support, and solidarity our family has received. Your belief in our work and your willingness to elevate our impact and experiences mean the world to us.”

Through books, we learn to understand diverse experiences and gain widened, empathetic perspectives. Representative spaces like the Liberation Station Bookstore need our support to foster an all-embracing, safe, inclusive society.

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