Kwanzaa 2020: Day 4: Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)

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Ujamaa (oo–JAH–mah): Cooperative Economics

To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

If there was any other year in recent history to embody the principle of Ujamaa it was 2020. Small businesses around the country were forced to close their doors as cases of COVID-19 spiked in waves throughout the year. Black small business owners were especially impacted by forced closures, and the impetus around “buying Black” was heightened.

The summer of uprisings also brought an added layer of consideration to buying Black. Conversations around the connections between communities that are economically healthy and how they are policed sparked a renewed focus on the importance of circulating the Black dollar.

Large media platforms such as Good Morning America (GMA) spent much of the summer highlighting Black-owned businesses in the period of post-George Floyd racial reckoning, but it has primarily been Black consumers keeping Black businesses afloat amid these wild times.

About the Author

Donney Rose is a poet, essayist, Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, advocate, and Chief Content Editor at The North Star. He believes in telling how it is and how it should be