The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Stop Saying Black People Don’t Support Each Other Economically

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The Chicago Defender


How often have you heard it said that black Americans don?t support each other economically? It?s a common refrain in conversations around sociopolitical uplift for the black community and many come to the conclusion that blacks just don?t show each other the same kind of financial love that you see in other racial and ethnic groups. Here?s the thing, however: that?s a myth. A new book, Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice, unearths the rich and long history of cooperative economics in the black community.


?In most places I?ve spoken, people think that we didn?t engage in cooperative economics,? says author Jessica Gordon Nembhard, political economist and professor of community justice and social economic development at John Jay College in New York City. ?My challenge was to prove that we did.?

Gordon Nembhard says she assumed she?d spend just a few years researching whatever cooperatives she could dig up. Instead, she was met…

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Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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