Last month, the Co-op attended an exciting community event: local entrepreneur Victoria Scott-Miller, of Liberation’s Station, opened her third Black Lit Library at Sarah P Duke Gardens! Liberation’s Station, Started by Scott-Miller and her family, is an online collection of stories comprised of some 500 thoughtfully curated titles varying in themes, genres, and reading-levels, all focused on uplifting black narratives for black children and families.
Victoria and her family moved from Hawaii to Durham after spinning a globe and placing their finger on the literal spot of our bustling southern city. At the time they were looking for a community that not only would foster them, but that they could also give back to – and they’ve found that community here in Durham.
Liberation’s Station was born out of mother Victoria’s love of the written word, coupled with a desire to foster that same appreciation in young black children – like her own two sons – through creative and diverse representation. With dedication and purposeful intent, Liberation’s Station has been chugging along their self-made track as a new community business. The opening of their third “Black Lit Library” at Duke Gardens is just one stop along their self-made journey.
We invited Victoria to be a part of our monthly Co-op Conversation this past August to read and share about the inspiration behind her work. At the time, she had started introducing Durham to her “Black Lit Libraries”: small, permanent collections at local community businesses. At the time of her Co-op Conversation, the first and only Black Lit Library was located in the Golden Belt District at Nolia Family & Coffee, another local black owned business.
Since the summer, Black Lit Libraries have popped up at three more locations: Jeddah’s Tea, The Durham Hotel, and most notable and recently at Sara P. Duke Gardens. This most recent location is no small addition. Having a black lit library collection on the campus of a private institution like Duke’s will speak volumes to the future black children who will be able to come and see themselves reflected in these stories that now reside, for them, on the shelves of an institution of higher learning.
Liberation’s Station continues to provide story times, author workshops, and pop-up shops for those seeking to bring books home for their families to enjoy. We are happy to be a witness and supporter of the growth of community business like Liberation’s Station, and even happier to have been a stop on the tracks of their unfolding journey.