Chapter 14 African American solidarity economics and distributive justice
Open access

This entry explores the benefits of cooperatives to members and their communities and the ways that these benefits contribute to more equitable social and economic development. It provides a short history of African American cooperative economic thought and practice as an example of the ways that social and solidarity economy (SSE) addresses racial economic discrimination and marginality. The entry finds that African Americans established social and solidarity economy organizations and enterprises (SSEOEs) such as cooperatives often in response to market failure and exclusion, and created alternative economic solutions that not only enabled survival, but also provided non-exploitative, democratic collective economic ownership and production, which led to meaningful profit sharing, and some level of individual and community self-determination.

  • Andrew, Scottie. 2021. 'Reparations for Slavery Could Have Reduced Covid-19 Transmission and Deaths in the US, Harvard Study Says.' CNN.

  • Artz, Georgeanne and Younjun Kim. 2011. 'Business Ownership by Workers: Are Worker Cooperatives a Viable Option?' Iowa State University, Department of Economics.

  • Borzaga, Carlo and Giulia Galera. 2012. 'Promoting the Understanding of Cooperatives For a Better World.' Euricse.

  • CHCA (Cooperative Home Care Associates). 2022. 'About.' Cooperative Home Care Associates. 27 January.

  • Cotton, J. 1992. 'Towards a Theory and Strategy for Black Economic Development.' In Race, Politics, and Economic Development: Community Perspectives, edited by James Jennings, 11‚Ä'32. London: Verso.

  • Darity, William A. and A. Kirsten Mullen. 2020. From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.

  • Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt. 1907. Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans: Report of a Social Study Made by Atlanta University Under the Patronage of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, DC Together with the Proceedings of the 12th Conference for the Study of the Negro Problems, Held at Atlanta University, on Tuesday, May the 28th, 1907. No. 12. Atlanta: Atlanta University Press.

  • GBD 2019 Police Violence US Subnational Collaborators. 2021. 'Fatal Police Violence by Race and State in the USA, 1980–2019: A Network Meta-Regression.' The Lancet 398 (10307): 1239–55.

  • Glasser, Ruth, Jeremy Brecher, Cooperative Home and System Center. 2002. We Are the Roots: The Organizational Culture of a Home Care Cooperative. Davis, CA: Center for Cooperatives, University of California.

  • Gordon Nembhard, Jessica. 2004. 'Non-Traditional Analyses of Cooperative Economic Impacts: Preliminary Indicators and a Case Study.' Review of International Co-operation 97 (1): 6–21.

  • Gordon Nembhard, Jessica. 2008. 'Asset Building Through Cooperative Business Ownership: Defining and Measuring Cooperative Economic Wealth.' University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives. 1 December.

  • Gordon Nembhard, Jessica. 2014. Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.

  • Gordon Nembhard, Jessica. 2015. 'Understanding and Measuring the Benefits and Impacts of Co-operatives.' In Co-operatives For Sustainable Communities: Tools to Measure Co-operative Impact and Performance, edited by Leslie Brown, Chiara Corini, Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, Lou Hammond-Ketilson, Elizabeth Hicks, John McNamara, Sonja Novkovic, Daphne Rixon and Richard Simmons, 152‚Ä'79. Ottawa and Saskatoon: Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada and Centre for the Study of Co-operatives (University of Saskatchewan).

  • Gordon Nembhard, Jessica. 2018. 'African American Cooperatives and Sabotage: The Case for Reparations.' Journal of African American History 103 (1‚Ä'2): 65–90.

  • Hope II, John. 1940. 'Rochdale Cooperation among Negroes.' Phylon (1940‚Ä'1956) 1 (1): 39–52.

  • Logue, J. and J. Yates. 2005. Productivity in Cooperatives and Worker-Owned Enterprises: Ownership and Participation Make a Difference! Geneva: International Labour Office.

  • McIntosh, Kriston, Emily Moss, Ryan Nunn and Jay Shambaugh. 2020. 'Examining the Black‚Ä'White Wealth Gap.' Brookings. 27 February.

  • Movement for Black Lives. 2022. 'Policy Platforms: Vision for Black Lives.' Movement for Black Lives.

  • National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC). 2022. 'What Is NAARC's 10-Point Reparations Plan?' NAARC.

  • Novkovic, Sonja and Jessica Gordon Nembhard. 2017. 'Beyond the Economy: The Social Impact of Cooperatives.' Cooperative Business Journal Fall 2017: 12‚Ä'22.

  • Schneider, Stu. 2009. 'Cooperative Home Care Associates.' Paper presented at Fair Work Conference.

  • Shipp, Sigmund C. 2000. 'Worker-Owned Firms in Inner-City Neighborhoods: An Empirical Study.' Review of International Co-operation 93 (1): 42‚Ä'6.

  • US Solidarity Economy Network. 2022. 'U.S. Solidarity Economy Network.'

  • Washington, Kemberley. 2021. 'Covid-19 Has Had a Disproportionate Financial Impact on Black Small Businesses.' Forbes Advisor. 3 June.

  • Williams, Richard C. 2007. The Cooperative Movement: Globalization from Below. London: Ashgate Publishing Group.