David Thompson Discusses the Influence of Cooperative in the Civil Rights Movement


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Everything Co-op begins it’s celebration of Black History Month by embracing the 2019 theme of Black Migrations, as declared by the

Association for the Study of African American Life and History with Co-op leader and author David Thompson. David returns to the mick to discuss a different aspect of his upcoming book, Cooperatives and the Civil Rights Movement, by focusing on the cooperative affiliations of leaders who planned and participated in the March on Washington.

David Thompson, has worked for national cooperative organizations of the United States, Britain and Japan as well as the United Nations.

He served as Vice President of the National Cooperative Business Association and Regional Director of the National Cooperative Bank’s Western Office. He specializes in funding the capital needs of cooperative housing, and the nonprofit and cooperative development sectors. He was inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame in Washington D.C. in May 2010, and continues to work with cooperatives.

An excerpt from Cooperatives and the Civil Rights Movement

At the epi-center of the cooperative movement in Harlem was a housing cooperative called the Dunbar Apartments. Filling an entire city block, this 511-unit housing cooperative was funded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. as the first black housing cooperative in the country. When it opened in 1928, on the eve of the Great Depression, the Dunbar was the first home ownership opportunity for blacks in New York City. If the members paid the carrying charges for 22 years, they would own the apartment outright. Those who lived at the Dunbar were a virtual Who’s Who of Black America: Countee Cullen, W.E.B. DuBois, Mathew Henson, Langston Hughes, A. Philip Randolph, Paul Robeson, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and others.

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