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You Can't Eat FreedomSoutherners and Social Justice After the Civil Rights Movement$
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Greta de Jong

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469629308

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469629308.001.0001

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To Build Something, Where They Are

To Build Something, Where They Are

The Federation of Southern Cooperatives and Rural Economic Development

(p.141) Chapter 6 To Build Something, Where They Are
You Can't Eat Freedom

Greta de Jong

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the efforts of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives to encourage cooperative enterprises and other economic development initiatives in rural southern communities. The services it provided to cooperatives ensured the survival of many black-owned businesses and encouraged African Americans to remain in the South instead of migrating away. The FSC’s activist staff continued the struggles for civil rights and social justice by working to increase black representation in economic development initiatives, encouraging black political participation, and organizing local communities to fight persistent racism. These efforts generated resistance from powerful white southerners. In 1979, accusations that the FSC was misusing government grants to fund political activities sparked an eighteen-month-long investigation that disrupted and weakened the organization, despite finding no evidence of wrongdoing.

Keywords:   Black-owned businesses, Civil rights, Economic development, Federation of Southern Cooperatives (FSC), Social justice activism

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