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Beyond Racial Capitalism: Co-Operatives in the African Diaspora

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Knowledge-making in the field of alternative economies has limited the inclusion of Black and racialized people's experience. In Beyond Racial Capitalism the goal is close that gap in development through a detailed analysis of cases in about a dozen countries where Black people live and turn to co-operatives to manage systemic exclusion. Most cases focus on how people use group methodology for social finance. However, financing is not the sole objective for many of the Black people who engage in collective business forms; it is about the collective and the making of a Black social economy.

Systemic racism and anti-Black exclusion create an environment where pooling resources, in kind and money, becomes a way to cope and to resist an oppressive system. This book examines co-operatives in the context of racial capitalism-a concept of political scientist Cedric J. Robinson's that has meaning for the African diaspora who must navigate, often secretly and in groups, the landmines in business and society. Understanding business exclusion in the various cases enables appreciation of the civic contributions carried out by excluded racial minorities. These social innovations by Black people living outside of Africa who build co-operative economies go largely unnoticed. If they are noted, they are demoted to an "informal" activity and rationalized as having limited potential to bring about social change. The sheer determination of Black diaspora people to organize and build co-operatives that are explicitly anti-racist and rooted in mutual aid and the collective is an important
lesson in making business ethical and inclusive.

ISBN-13: 9780192868336

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Publication Date: 06-30-2023

Pages: 256

Caroline Shenaz Hossein, Associate Professor of Global Development and Political Science, University of Toronto, Sharon D. Wright Austin, Professor of Political Science, , Kevin Edmonds, Assistant Professor in Caribbean Studies (teaching stream), University of Toronto

Caroline Shenaz Hossein holds a Canada Research Chair in Africana Development and Feminist Political Economy and is Associate Professor of Global Development and Political Science at the University of Toronto and founder of the Diverse Solidarity Economies (DiSE) Collective. She serves on the board of International Association of Feminist Economics, Guelph Institute of Development Studies, and editorial boards of the U.N. Task Force for the Social and Solidarity Economy and Kerala's Journal of Politics and Society. Follow her Twitter @carolinehossein

Sharon D. Wright Austin is Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on African-American women's political behavior, African-American mayoral elections, rural African-American political activism, and African-American political behavior.

Kevin Edmonds is an Assistant Professor in Caribbean Studies (teaching stream) at the University of Toronto. His work focuses on Caribbean political economy, histories of alternative/illicit development, and foreign intervention. His dissertation, Legalize it? A Comparative Study of Cannabis Economies in St. Vincent and St. Lucia, examines the historical origins as well as the cultural, political, and economic significance of the ganja (cannabis) industries of the Eastern Caribbean islands of St. Vincent and St. Lucia.