Liberation’s Station is a mobile and online library with 500 titles providing diverse stories of representation for young African American children and families. Creator and Founder of Liberation’s Station, Victoria Scott-Miller, graced the Durham Co-op with her amazing collection of children’s literature to lead our seventh Co-op Café Conversation.
A dozen or more families, teachers, and community members gathered cozily in the Co-op Café to enjoy a selection of readings from Liberation’s Station’s impressive collection of some 1000 stories. A fraction of this collection was set-up on tables to greet all that attended. This dazzlingly dynamic display of books transformed our co-op café into a literal literary rainbow of representation. There were books about historic African-American figures, monster care guides, and first day of school tales, all focusing on the lived experience of black children.
This café conversation was intended to engage families and children, and Victoria spent some time sharing about the origins of her own story and discussing the greater impact of representation before reading a few of her favorite books to us. She began by sharing a series of letters that hung on the wall behind her. These letters were written by Nathaniel Knight, a radical white book store owner from our nation’s history. Nathaniel Knight opened his book store and the contents of their shelves to black readers in the cover of night, during a time when the laws of this country made it illegal for slaves, or freed blacks, to learn to read and write. The work of allies like Mr. Knight helped promote early black intellectuals like Fredrick Douglas.
These letters, saved for Victoria by her mother, were the tangible seeds that fostered her love of the written word and her desire to save and share the works of black authors with the world. They also instilled in young Victoria an understanding of the importance of passing down creativity to the next generation. This radical spirit of education is one of the roots of Liberation Station’s mission: to increase black children’s access and interest by providing books that feature black faces, voices, and stories in their pages.
After sharing about her mission and her own story, Victoria treated us all to story time – adults and children sat in rapt attention as she shared some of her favorite picture books with us, such as The King of Kindergarten, by Derrick Barnes. It was a big hit with listeners of all ages!
Wondering where you can find more of Victoria, and Liberation’s Station’s amazing collection of books? Here are a few ways to find them:
- Check out Liberation’s Station’s Black Lit Libraries, which can be found at two of their partner businesses in the Golden Belt District: Nolia: Family = Coffee or downtown at Jeddah’s Tea Shop, soon to open this summer.
- Find them online at liberationexist.com , and follow them on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on events!
- Make sure the follow the Co-op on social media to remain aware of future café-conversation and the works of our community – you may even see Liberation’s Station here again soon!