II 18 Southern Cooperative Movement

The Austin Cooperative Summit brought together more than 100 people interested in cooperative businesses to help move the Central Texas economy toward shared abundance and prosperity. The summit is a program of the Austin Cooperative Business Association and NCBA CLUSA.

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[Editors note: Collective Courage can be purchased online from PSU Press here.  Use the code JGN14 at checkout to recieve a 20% discount. Please encourage your local libraries and co-ops to purchase a copy of this important resource.

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March 14, 2014 – Washington, DC

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[Editor's Note: the following is excerpted from Jessica Gordon Nembhard, 2014, Benefits and Impacts of Cooperatives. White Paper, February 2014. You can find the full report  here.]

 

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cross-posted from the Praxis Center website

In 1920, Black people owned and farmed over 15 million acres in the South; by 1960, this had declined to 100,000 Black farmers owning less than 6 million acres; by 1980, there were only 57,000 Blacks owning less than 4 million acres; the 2007 Agricultural Census, said there are less than 25,000 Black farm families remaining with a little less than 3 million acres.

SGEP Consensus Cooperative Principles -- March 2014

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The South is the poorest part of the USA. The election of a Black president did not alter this fact. The ongoing national and global economic crises have only intensified this reality.

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cross-posted from the Praxis Center website

Contributing Editor’s Note:

“Doing alternative economics was dangerous. Especially in the south, you could get lynched, your stuff could get burned. Why? Because you were being either too uppity by trying to do something on your own or because you were actually challenging the white economic structure and you weren’t supposed to do that.”

In 1998 Clyde Woods wrote, in his path breaking book Development Arrested, that

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[Editors Note: This is the first in a series of articles about the cooperative movement in the U.S. South. Look for more articles by the end of April.]

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