Liberation Station Bookstore's Grand Opening

My Continuing the Black Radical Tradition photo series documents key events from the grand opening of North Carolina’s first Black-owned children’s bookstore, Liberation Station Bookstore, during 2023’s Juneteenth weekend. Over the course of three days, Liberation Station owner Victoria Scott-Miller and her family hosted several events, including a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a showcase of their collection of rare, signed first edition print books by Black authors, and a Black cowgirl and cowboy-led liberation walk from North Carolina’s State Capitol building to the bookstore itself.

With book bans in U.S. public schools increasing rapidly, Liberation Station is a symbol of hope, especially for our people; Black people. This series is named Continuing the Black Radical Tradition because this bookstore and the grand opening were just that. In hopes of gaining support from the City of Raleigh, Victoria applied for an event permit, which she was denied. Regardless of the denial, the grand opening was a huge success, with over 3,000 people attending.

One of the major events documented was the white glove access event. This event gave children hands-on access to several rare books by Black authors. Two images in this series document the inter-generational moment of two children and their mother engaging with a signed, first-edition copy of Gordon Parks's Voices in the Mirror autobiography. When Victoria originally purchased the book, to her surprise, she found an authentic letter from Gordon Parks to the original book’s owner.

The crux of this grand opening was the liberation walk. As mentioned before, Victoria was denied a permit for the weekend, but this walk was unstoppable. This celebration of Black Liberation was much needed for Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1965, the Ku Klux Klan would march through this same area, but on Juneteenth 2023, Fayetteville Street was filled with proud Black people waving Black Liberation flags in celebration of ourselves and our ancestors.

Digital Photographs & Scan of 35mm Film Negative

All images made in 2023