The History of the African American Cooperative Economy with Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Ph.D.

Dr Nembhard chronicles African American cooperative business ownership and its place in the movements for Black civil rights and economic equality. Adding the mutual aid and cooperative movement, which began with Africans chained together aboard slave ships, to Black history results in a retelling of the African American experience, with an increased understanding of African American collective economic agency and grassroots economic organizing. Gordon Nembhard]s painstaking research over a period of ten years included a variety of newspapers, period magazines, and journals; co-ops’ articles of incorporation, minutes from annual meetings, newsletters, budgets, and income statements; and scholarly books, memoirs, and biographies. These sources reveal the achievements and challenges of Black co-ops, collective economic action, and social entrepreneurship. Gordon Nembhard finds that African Americans, as well as other people of color and low-income people, have benefitted greatly from cooperative ownership and democratic economic participation throughout the nation’s history Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Ph.D. is a political economist, Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College, of the City University of New York (CUNY) and author of Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice.