DC Coop History

Johanna wrote a history of cooperatives in Washington, DC : “Home Rule from Below: The Cooperative Movement in Washington, DC.” Pp. 66-85 in Capital Dilemma: Growth and Inequality in Washington, DC. 2016. Routledge.

Washington, DC has had a long history of cooperatives. In part, this was because African Americans have sought to form cooperatives as a way create economic and political freedom. As Jessica Gordon Nembhard has argued, “African Americans have used cooperative economic development as a strategy in the struggle for economic stability and independence.”  In 1907,W.E.B. Dubois spoke in favor of a wide range of cooperatives and alternative economic institutions. Cooperatives would reDuboismain a key arthur_capper_windowinstitution in the toolbox of African American social movements. These attempts were supported in DC by people like Arthur Capper, a Kansas senator who headed the District of Columbia Committee, and Cornelius “Cornbread” Givens,  a national advocate for cooperatives, who moved to DC when Marion Barry became mayor.  Washington, DC remains a central location for these social movements and thus would have a rich cooperative history.

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