Collective Courage is a landmark work on the African-American cooperative experience. In hard times — which is to say, pretty much always — African Americans have depended on each other to get by. But it wasn’t until Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard wrote this book that it was possible to get a detailed historical overview of exactly what that looked like.
That’s because African Americans are largely missing from documentation of the co-op movement in this country. Our movement is not immune from the racism of our broader society, even though the first of our co-op values is open and voluntary membership. This book will not fix that on its own, but it’s an important step towards understanding how we got to where we are, and towards finding hope for the future.
The first meeting of the book club is tomorrow, and the topic will be the introduction to the book. If you don’t have a copy, you’re welcome to join the discussion anyway. We will (of course) be meeting over Zoom.