February is Black History Month! We’ll be celebrating all month by highlighting current day and historical contributions from Black individuals and communities toward cooperation, agriculture, food access, food sovereignty and beyond. This week we’re beginning by taking a look at the roots of Co-ops and cooperation in Black history. 

In Collective Courage: A History of African-American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice, author Jessica Gordon Nembhard chronicles the development of the cooperative model and its use in movements for Black civil rights and equality. Thanks to our friends at The Food Co-op in Port Townsend for sharing this write-up of the book. Click here to read their summary and highlights on Black mutual aid societies, farmer cooperatives, and consumer co-ops.

And if you find yourself interested in reading the book, here is a handy guide for finding Black-owned bookstores to purchase from!