Need for a “homeplace”
“For those who dominate and oppress us benefit most when we have nothing to give our own, when they have so taken from us our dignity, our humanness that we have nothing left, no ‘homeplace’ where we can recover ourselves.” — bell hooks

A cooperative (also known as co-operative, co-op, or coop) is "an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise."

Black Co-ops were a method of Economic Survival. African/African American history informs us that economic solidarity is essential for maintaining a standard of living and to help ourselves and others in the community. Civil Rights organizers Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker were advocates of cooperatives and touted them as a way for people to grow into their own power, become self sufficient and build sovereignty.

The Northside Community in Minneapolis can learn about the histories of Black Cooperatives by attending a series of informational meetings and investing dollars towards down payment of YO MAMA’S HOUSE.

Continued engagement opportunities include:

  • Engagement as collaborative partners with a shared desire to empower women as mothers.

  • Becoming members by choosing from a tiered membership.

  • Volunteering to offer mamas new skills (artist, business, technology, fiber arts, etc.) that promote creating small businesses and pathways to financial stability and wealth. 

Credjafawn Co-op Store, St. Paul, MN, 1948. Image courtesy of “ A Cooperative Legacy .”

Credjafawn Co-op Store, St. Paul, MN, 1948. Image courtesy of “A Cooperative Legacy.”