“Books That Once Saved Me.”

By Wayétu Moore

One year ago I visited Liberia, 24 years after immigrating to the US with my family. I was inspired by many things during my visit, but felt led to open a space where Liberians could buy and read the novels and poetry that rehabilitated me. Shortly after acquiring a space & returning to New York, Liberia was hit by Ebola in a huge and devastating way. I canceled my August trip to open the store and the space just sat there.

I got lectures on how unstable Liberia is for grass-roots entrepreneurship, and was advised to abandon the project altogether. But God. Isn’t he good? Today I walked into my store and ran my fingers along the spines of those books that once saved me.

We talk ourselves out of living the lives we dream, out of taking leaps of faith. Those thoughts are lies–that you are not the right size, the right color, not educated enough, not rich enough, not connected enough, not beautiful enough.

I was not born with much, but my parents always told me I have everything it takes to live fully, and to thrust some of that fullness back into the world, making it more beautiful. 1 year later and I’m in awe. So grateful to everyone who played (and plays) a role in the realization of this magical space.

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