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Black-owned children's bookstore in North Carolina is closing over alleged threats

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The owner of a Black-owned children's bookstore in Raleigh, North Carolina, said she is closing its doors less than a year after it opened because of violent threats. 

The store, called Liberation Station Bookstore, was the first of its kind in the community, owner Victoria Scott-Miller wrote in an Instagram post announcing that it is shuttering its first and only retail location. 

She described how challenging it was to reconcile "the immense joy" she experienced serving the community with "threats of violence," including death threats and hate mail that she believed imperiled the store and put her family's safety at risk. 

In a particularly startling incident, she wrote on Instagram, a caller detailed what her son was wearing while he was alone at the shop, she said. 

"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," Scott-Miller wrote on Instagram. 

Customersinside Liberation Station Bookstore, North Carolina's first Black-owned children's bookstore, which opened on June 17, 2023, in downtown Raleigh.  KAFI IMAN ROBINSON PETTIFORD

The store faced threats since its inception, but more recent provocations caused greater cause for concern, she explained.

"While this is not a new challenge, it becomes real when these threats are directed towards our physical location and accessibility," Scott-Miller wrote.  

Liberation Station Bookstore, which focused on selling children's books from Black and underrepresented authors, will remain open at its Fayetteville Street location in downtown Raleigh until April 13, according to Scott-Miller.

It's not the end of the business though. It will donate unsold inventory to literacy nonprofits while it plans its next chapter. 

"Collectively we will go back to the drawing board to reassess and redefine what we will need in our next location," Scott-Miller wrote. 

Nearly 4,000 people attended the bookstore's grand opening in 2023, in what Scott-Miller called "a true testament to our impact."

She said the store's aim was to both serve the community and prepare her own children "for the world they will one day inherit."

Liberation Station Bookstore did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CBS MoneyWatch.

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