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Buffalo's Cooperative History

Buffalo has a rich history of cooperative businesses and movements, especially in the city's Black community. The Citizens Cooperative Society of Buffalo began in 1928 to address the ongoing economic and social crisis for Black Americans. It continued under various names, including the Buffalo Cooperative Economic Society, until 1961, and included a consumer-owned grocery store, a credit union, and an educational campaign. 


Below is a video by Leanna Zilles, a 2020 Cornell High Road Fellow, who worked with us to study the history of Black cooperatives in Buffalo and the important role that cooperatives have played in national and global moments of economic crisis and systemic economic exclusion.

Additional Resources

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